United States to fund nuclear power plants in South Africa

The United States International Development Finance Corp. pledged to support NuScale Power LLC, a U.S. nuclear energy technology firm, to develop 2,500 megawatts of power in South Africa.

South Africa’s government drafted an economic recovery plan in conjunction with business and labor groups several months ago in a bargaining forum known as the National Economic Development and Labour Council, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

A version of the strategy that was discussed by the cabinet this week, and seen by Bloomberg, includes suggestions to secure reliable energy supply through the construction of new nuclear plants.

The draft envisages 23 billion rand ($1.4 billion) being allocated to galvanize private investment in infrastructure and 4.5 billion rand being spent on public transport over the next 12 months, but provides scant detail on where the money will come from.

The DFC, which ended its prohibition on supporting nuclear power in July, signed a letter of intent to support NuScale’s bid for South Africa’s independent power producer program, the development bank said in an emailed statement on Friday.

“If successful, NuScale would be the first U.S. nuclear energy IPP on the continent and would help support energy resilience and security in one of Africa’s leading economies,” the DFC said.

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United States to fund nuclear power plants in South Africa