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South Africa: Government to Decide On Nuclear Procurement Process


allAfrica.com

October 1, 2014

Pretoria — The Department of Energy on Wednesday announced that government will decide on which procurement method will be used to acquire 9 600MW of nuclear power.

“… There will be a procurement process and the work that the department is doing is preparation towards that procurement process,” Deputy Director General (DDG) for Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy, Zizamele Mbambo, said.

South Africa recently signed an Intergovernmental Agreement on Strategic Partnership and Cooperation in Nuclear Energy and Industry with Russia.

The agreement lays the foundation for the large-scale nuclear power plants (NPP) procurement and development programme of South Africa. This will be based on the construction of new nuclear power plants in SA with Russian VVER reactors, with total installed capacity of up to 9.6 GW (up to 8 NPP units).

At Wednesday’s briefing, the department said it is currently doing work in preparation towards the procurement process.

“We’ve highlighted that various models exist in the international space of the procurement process and South Africa would review all this and choose whichever procurement process it chooses to implement the nuclear programme. That decision will be made in the future,” said Mbambo.

Internationally, various procurement models are used and these are informed by the way in which countries want to roll out their nuclear programmes.

“This will apply to SA as well. Government will make a decision and say what is our national interest in rolling out this process,” said Mbambo, adding that the procurement process has not started.

South Africa has a number of nuclear agreements with several countries, including Russia and the US. SA is set to sign an agreement with France this month.

The department’s Acting Director General, Dr Wolsey Barnard, said that no information relevant to the public about South Africa’s nuclear build will be withheld.

South Africa’s nuclear energy policy was approved in 2008 and was further enhanced by the approval of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 – 2030, which stipulates that nuclear power will form part of the country’s energy mix to a level of 9 600MW.

“Some of the key elements of the policy revolve around the fact that as South Africa, we want to be self-sufficient. We want to be able to exploit nuclear technology for peaceful use purposes. Currently, people are focusing on the 9 600MW, which is mainly for the generation of electricity. But if you look into the process, the entire programme involves training, skills development and job creation [among others],” said Mbambo.

South Africa is looking at the entire nuclear energy value chain.

On how long will the procurement process take, Mbambo said that this will depend on the type of model that government approves.

He said the aim of the procurement process is to put the country on a path where there is energy security and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, among others.

To date, South Africa generates 5% of its electricity from nuclear power through the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant in the Western Cape.

At the centre of the new nuclear build programme will be a concerted localisation plan that will ensure that existing South African industry participates to the maximum extent.

The department said government is committed to ensuring that the new nuclear build programme is undertaken in a fair, competitive and cost effective manner.

– SAnews.gov.za

South Africa Signs Agreement With Russia for Nuclear Power


Bloomberg News

Paul Burkhardt

September 22, 2014

South Africa signed a partnership agreement with Russia’s state-owned nuclear company that may see Rosatom Corp. build reactors in Africa’s second-biggest economy.

“The agreement lays the foundation for the large-scale nuclear power plants procurement and development program” using Russian VVER reactors with installed capacity of about 9,600 megawatts, or as many as eight nuclear units, Rosatom and the South African government said in an e-mailed statement today. The country also has a draft nuclear cooperation pact with China.

South Africa’s integrated resources plan envisions 9,600 megawatts of nuclear energy being added to the national grid to help reduce reliance on coal, which utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. uses to generate 80 percent of the country’s electricity. The state-owned company is struggling to meet power demand,

The National Treasury said in February 2013 that a 300 billion-rand ($27 billion) nuclear program was in the final stages of study.

Areva SA (AREVA), EDF SA (EDF), Toshiba Corp. (6502)’s Westinghouse Electric Corp., China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp., Rosatom and Korea Electric Power Corp. (015760) have expressed interest in building the plants.

Local Procurement

“This agreement opens up the door for South Africa to access Russian technologies, funding, infrastructure, and provides a proper and solid platform for future extensive collaboration,” South African Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said in the statement. It will allow the country to implement its plan to create more nuclear capacity by 2030, she said.

The collaboration will result in orders worth at least $10 billion to local industrial companies, Rosatom Director General Sergei Kirienko said in the statement.

In addition to building the nuclear units, the agreement provides for partnerships including the construction of a Russian technology-based research reactor, assistance in the development of South African nuclear infrastructure and education of specialists at Russian universities, the parties said in the statement.

Rosatom currently holds projects for the construction of 29 nuclear power plants, including 19 foreign commissions in countries including India, China, Turkey, Vietnam, Finland and Hungary.

Financial Implications

Eskom operates a 1,800-megawatt nuclear facility at Koeberg, near Cape Town. In December, the Energy Ministry published a revised 20-year energy plan, which projected that new nuclear power won’t be required until at least 2025.

If finalized, the deal may have significant financial risks and implications for electricity prices in South Africa, said Anne Fruhauf, an analyst at New York-based consultants Teneo Intelligence.

South Africa’s energy regulator last month approved a power-tariff increase that could amount to 5 percentage points on top of the above-inflation 8 percent previously agreed, and prices may have to rise even further for Eskom, which supplies 95 percent of the country’s electricity needs, to plug a 225 billion-rand funding gap.

“The million-dollar question will be the financing details and equity ownership,” Fruhauf said in an e-mailed response to questions. “We don’t have the details yet but it could be one of the biggest public procurement programs on which South Africa has ever embarked.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg atpburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.netAna Monteiro, John Bowker

Russian Helicopters Return To Africa


strategypage.com

Afghan National Air Corps MI-17 helicopters ta...
Afghan National Air Corps MI-17 helicopters take off in a formation practice. Air Force mentors assigned to Defense Reform Directorate Air Division under Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan provide guidance to soldiers with the Afghan Maintenance Operations Group. U.S. Air Force photo Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October 2, 2013

Russia recently announced that it had sold some Mi-17 helicopters to Cameroon. This was a big deal because it was the first sale of Russian military equipment to Cameroon. Russia sees this as a trend as it seeks to revive Cold War era markets in sub-Saharan Africa. All that disappeared with the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union in 1991. After that the new country of Russia (half the population of the Soviet Union) could no longer offer attractive financing terms, and many Soviet era customers saw Russian gear as second rate and switched to Western suppliers. But Russia persevered. It eventually provided better after market support for Soviet era equipment than the Soviets ever did and were quick to supply Mi-17s and Russian pilots for UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. East European contractors also established a good reputation with their leased Mi-17s and contract pilots. All this paved the way for the return of Russian aircraft salesmen and now, actual sales.

The Mi-17 has been very popular outside Russia for decades. Even the U.S. has bought over a hundred of them for Afghanistan, and then Iraq, as part of American military aid. These Russian choppers have Western electronics installed and are often rebuilt to make them more reliable and durable. Russia has made it easier for customers to install Western electronics and other accessories.

The cost of these Mi-17s varies widely. Some second hand ones from Eastern European nations cost less than a million dollars each. Iraq obtained 22 Mi-17 helicopters from Russia for about $3.7 million each. At one point the U.S. bought 24 refurbished Mi-17s for $4.4 million each. The most expensive purchase was for 22 Mi-17s equipped for night operations and with American electronics. These cost nearly $15 million each. Afghans and Iraqis prefer the Mi-17, as they have used Russian helicopters for decades.

The Mi-8/17 is a twin engine helicopter roughly equivalent to the U.S. UH-1 “Huey.” Both these helicopters arrived about the same time (Vietnam War era), but the Mi-8/17 is still in production and is the most widely exported (3,000 out of 12,000) helicopter on the planet. For many bargain conscious nations Russian helicopters are preferred. The Mi-8 is about twice the size and weight of the American UH-1, although it only hauls about 50 percent more cargo. However, the Mi-8 has a larger interior and can carry 24 troops (or up to 40 civilians), versus a dozen in the UH-1. The UH-1 was replaced by the UH-60 in the 1980s, while the Mi-8 just kept adding better engines and electronics to the basic Mi-8 frame.

The UH-60, while weighing twice as much as the 4.8 ton UH-1, could carry as much as the 12 ton Mi-8. However, the Mi-8 costs less than half as much as a UH-60, so if you want mobility for the least cost you get the Mi-17. Many peacekeeping and humanitarian operations go for the Mi-17, which can be leased from Eastern European firms, complete with maintenance crews and English speaking pilots.

Senegal cancels fishing authorizations


AllAfrica.com

May 3rd, 2012

Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

Dakar, Senegal — Greenpeace welcomes the decision of the Senegalese government to cancel licenses of pelagic fishing vessels issued to 29 foreign trawlers from Russia, Comoros, Lithuania, Saint Vincent Grenadine and Belize.

“These kinds of licenses are a direct threat to employment and food security for millions of Senegalese who have been dependent on fishing for centuries,” says Raoul Monsembula, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace.

West Africa‘s fish stocks are severely pressured by over-exploitation, mainly by destructive high-tech Russian, Asian and European vessels that can in a single day capture, process, and freeze 200-250 tons of fish.

“This corresponds to the fish consumption by at least 9,000 Senegalese during afull year” (1) FAO 2007.

Greenpeace has, for the last 18 months, called for the cancellation of the licenses and less than a month ago, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was patrolling the waters of Senegal and Mauritania to put the spotlight on the systematic plunder of West African waters by foreign vessels. “Most of the trawlers encountered by the Arctic Sunrise were European vessels or in some way linked to Europe, including Russia(2).

On 27 April, EU Fisheries ministers got together in Luxemburg to discuss the reform of EU fishing rules, known as the common fisheries policy (CFP), but failed to take necessary steps to tackle the excessive fleet capacity of the European fishing fleet. “The same week as the fisheries ministers failed to make progress on fisheries reform, the EU had to cancel the permits for its vessels in Mauritanian waters months before time simply because these giants had used up their quota in no time, says Pavel Klinckhamers, Oceans Campaigner of Greenpeace. “If European ministers really want to tackle the issue of a bloated fleet, they have to act now and choose sustainable, low impact fisheries,” he argues.

Greenpeace urges the government of Senegal to declare an emergency moratorium on the allocation of fishing licenses, as a sustainable policy has not yet been defined. Greenpeace also calls on European governments and fisheries ministers to support a new Common Fisheries Policy that tackles Europe’s bloated fleet by scrapping the most destructive and oversized vessels, including factory trawlers operating in the waters of developing countries (3).

1. Source FAO, 2007.

2. From15 February to 15 April 2012 Greenpeace completed an expedition in Senegal and Mauritania to highlight overfishing. A total of 71 vessels were observed and three out of four were found to have parent companies in either EU or other non-EU European countries. More than a third bore the flag of an EU country and another third were sailing under flags of convenience. In Senegal, as much as 90% of the vessels were in some way linked to Europe, mostly Eastern Europe, (including Russia) and in Mauritania, this was the case for 80%.

3. The European Common Fisheries Policy, CFP, is supposed to ensure sound and sustainable fisheries. The reality is that it has failed. The same extensive and destructive fishing fleet which has pushed Europe’s fish stocks to the brink now allows European fleets to hoover up fish form seas outside of Europe, including in West Africa. A full review of the CFP, which takes place every ten years, is currently under way and provides a unique chance to end overfishing by EU vessels, in and outside of Europe, and begin the transition to sustainable low-impact practices.

Russia says a fifth of defense budget stolen


CATHEDRAL SQUARE, THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. Inaugur...
Image via Wikipedia

Reuters

May 24, 2011

by Guy Faulconbridge

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A fifth of Russia‘s state defense spending is stolen every year by corrupt officials, dishonest generals and crooked contractors, Russia’s chief military prosecutor said in an interview published on Tuesday.

President Dmitry Medvedev says endemic corruption is holding back Russia’s development, but anti-bribery groups say the problem has become worse since Medvedev was steered into the Kremlin by his mentor Vladimir Putin in 2008.

“Huge money is being stolen – practically every fifth rouble and the troops are still getting poor quality equipment and arms,” chief military prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky told Russia’s official gazette, Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “Every year more and more money is set aside for defense but the successes are not great,” he said, adding that kickbacks and fictitious contracts were being used to defraud the state. Read more

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