Eskom has given the Kouga Council its assurance that it will communicate if there are developments that impact on the status of the proposed nuclear build at Thyspunt near Oyster Bay.
At a recent meeting with the Council and other government roleplayers, Eskom’s Nuclear New Build Programme Director, Loyiso Tyabashe, dealt with a few questions that emanated mostly from recent media reports on the project, including its financing and the suitability of Thyspunt to host a nuclear power plant in terms of safety.
“It is important to note that Eskom will communicate if there are developments that impact on the status of the project. As we stand, Eskom is awaiting the outcome of the Environmental Impact Assessment and a determination by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
The Nersa decision will give Eskom a formal mandate to go out to the market with a request for information (RFI) and/or Request for Proposal (RFP), while the EIA will give clarity on the final site for the proposed nuclear installations,” he said.
Tyabashe emphasized that the Department of Energy remained in its oversight role for the whole project and energy planning for the country.
“The Department has recently issued a draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which is being taken through various provinces for public comment.
We urge you to participate in this process in order to ensure that you understand how nuclear fits into South Africa’s energy mix,” he said.
However, at the recent public participation meeting held in Port Elizabeth, the Department of Energy failed to explain why the IRP states that nuclear energy is only needed by 2037, which is in contrast to Eskom’s claims that they are aiming to bring Thyspunt online by 2026.