South Africa government said on Tuesday that it would start the process to procure a nuclear fleet that would generate 9,600 megawatts of power this year.
The Energy Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, told parliament that the aim was to cushion the effects of the country’s energy crunch.
“To meet its targeted nuclear generation capacity, South Africa plans to build six new nuclear power plants by 2030.
“It is to cost between 400 billion rand and 1 trillion rand (between $34 and $84 billion). We expect to present the outcome of this procurement process to cabinet by year-end,” Joemat-Pettersson told parliament.
She added that the exercise would be carried out in a “fair and transparent” manner.
South Africa has signed nuclear power deals with various countries, including France, China, South Korea and the United States.
The country surprised energy watchers in September when it announced a deal with Russia to build plants worth $10 billion.
Joemat-Pettersson also said South Africa, which runs the continent’s only nuclear power station near Cape Town, would also re-establish its nuclear fuel cycle industry.
This would include developing domestic uranium enrichment and conversion plants as well as nuclear fuel production sites in a country with vast uranium reserves.