African countries eye 2030 start for generating nuclear energy

2022-12-27 18:48:27
African countries eye 2030 start for generating nuclear energy

At least seven African countries are at various stages – commissioning, shopping for vendors and mapping appropriate sites - in the roll-out of nuclear power plants, as a majority eye 2030 as a start-date for generating electricity from nuclear energy.

South Africa’s Koeberg nuclear power station - owned and operated by state-run power utility Eskom - is the only nuclear power plant on the continent. It has an installed capacity of 1,940 megawatts.

Egypt is currently the only country to have begun construction of nuclear power plant, following the formal launch of a site in July. The US$25 billion project, being developed by Russian state energy corporation Rosatom, will have total installed capacity of 4.8 gigawatts (GW) made up of four, 1,200 megawatt reactors, when complete.

Kenya is also inching closer to the development stage, after identifying two coastal sites - Kilifi and Kwale counties – earlier in the year, to put up the country’s first nuclear power generator.

The country’s Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) has estimated the project would cost about US$50 million, with construction works planned for 2030, a test run four years later and full operations projected for 2036.

Uganda is considering three sites – on the Kyoga, Kagera and Aswa rivers - for the construction of two 1,000 megawatt reactors, by 2031. This follows agreements reached by the country’s Ministry of Energy with Russian and Chinese investors.

After a false start, Nigeria is starting all over again. Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency opened bidding for construction of a 4 gigawatt nuclear plant in March, 2022 - and the country is reportedly betting on the four-reactor power plant with an equivalent of a third of the country’s total installed capacity, to address power outages.

In 2016, the West African nation reportedly sealed a US$80 billion plan for four nuclear stations with Rosatom but this never materialised.

After the discovery of uranium deposits four years ago, Tanzania is looking to help from Rosatom and its subsidy Uranium One, which has a license to mine uranium in the Mkuju River within the Selous Game Reserve, to build a research reactor and subsequently set up a commercial nuclear plant.

In June, Morocco advanced its plans for nuclear energy after the release of a report that gives its legislators recommendations for making a switch to renewable energy sources.

Rwanda is also making significant strides after signing a deal with Rosatom to build a center of nuclear science and technologies, in October 2019.

Source: The East African


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