Nuclear power company Areva will design, manufacture and install six steam generators at the Koeberg nuclear power plant near Cape Town, in the Western Cape, which will increase State-owned utility Eskom’s power yield by 10%, says an Areva spokesperson.
This will represent an additional 90 MW produced by each of the plant’s two reactors and will be important in meeting the country’s growing electricity needs.
As part of the R4.3-billion order, Areva will also provide associated engineering services for the plant’s two reactors.
As the production of the steam generators has only recently been launched, after the signing of the contract, there have been no challenges to date, says the Areva spokesperson.
The production of the steam generators will be led by Areva’s teams and is aligned to meet Eskom’s maintenance schedule for installation in 2018.
Areva’s South African industrial partners will be fully involved in the project to provide maximum local benefit.
The existing steam generators will be removed and stored at Koeberg. The new generators will be brought into the reactor building and connected to the piping, after which the reactor will be restarted.
Nuclear energy currently represents 4% of the country’s electricity production, but the South African government has reaffirmed its commitment to increasing the country’s nuclear production by procuring 9 600 MW of nuclear power in terms of the Integrated Resource Plan.
South Africa’s critical shortage of energy is one of the main obstacles to economic growth, and nuclear will be an important element in meeting the country’s energy supply needs, says the spokesperson.
The group is encouraged by indications of the country’s relaunching of its nuclear energy programme.
The contract represents a major milestone for Areva’s plant modernisation programme, launched in 2012, which has generated €1.6 billion in orders from utilities worldwide.
“We remain committed to supporting Eskom in its ongoing operations and are ready to offer our new-build expertise to help South Africa meet its growing energy challenges,” adds the spokesperson.
“We are proud that Eskom has selected Areva for this supply and service agreement, which is key to ensuring power supply in South Africa and the safety of the Koeberg power plant,” said Areva CEO Luc Oursel in a press release.
He added that this agreement will allow for the partnerships between Areva and Eskom to continue, which date back 40 years to the construction of the Koeberg plant.
“Areva is pleased to support Eskom in meeting the country’s electricity supply needs by remaining one of the utility’s preferred partners,” Oursel said.