The signing of a nuclear deal between South Africa and Russia has been welcomed by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) as a boost for the energy sector and an important catalyst for South Africa’s economic growth. The organisation believes that the signing of two memoranda of understanding on nuclear power cooperation undertaken by Government, through the Department of Energy, will build on current work on energy projects.
Thyspunt, 80 km from the Coega IDZ, is earmarked as a likely location for the first nuclear fleet of the planned 9.6GW Nuclear Power Programme. Government has made it clear that public awareness and skills development are two key points for the successful implementation of the Nuclear Readiness Programme in order to support the development of Thyspunt.
In line with the memoranda, specifically in the area of training personnel for the South African nuclear power industry, the CDC has already been proactively involved with training and development for mega projects – including nuclear preparation.
The nuclear build program is identified by the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) as a significant opportunity for new investment which will drive economic development. A strategic development of human capacity is required to enable the localisation strategy. With this in mind, the CDC has already identified personnel for the nuclear skills development programme.
Further, through its skills training centre – Human Capital Solutions, the CDC has managed to train over 71 445 people since inception with the long term view of providing skilled labour for complex and mega projects with a focus on nuclear readiness.
The CDC’s energy strategy appreciates the importance of stakeholder awareness, complementing the second agreement to the memoranda: Enhancement of Public Awareness of Nuclear Energy in South Africa. Demystifying nuclear energy, through effective communication and public awareness in the Eastern Cape, requires a collaborative partnership between key stakeholders in the province. The organisation has designed plans centred on awareness by targeting high school learners with information about work opportunities in the field of energy as part of the CDC’s energy knowledge distribution programme. Further to this, the CDC has worked with industry body NIASA to facilitate various nuclear awareness workshops in the region.
The CDC has put in a lot work to prepare for energy related projects – both renewable and alternative sources of energy. The organisation’s location adjacent to the Port of Ngqura makes it the ideal destination for energy related projects. It has over 11500 hectares of land ripe for investor use and available infrastructure is world class.
The establishment of a nuclear power fleet will also open the market for component manufacturing production in the long-term future, particularly if other African countries follow the nuclear route.
Author: Shaanaaz Loggenberg
The following two tabs change content below.