Major contract concluded for demonstration nuclear plant

22 November 2005 – South African utility Eskom will definitely receive its demonstration pebble bed modular reactor by 2010, according to the project’s nuclear technology supplier, PBMR Ltd.

The company recently awarded German company SGL Carbon a contract, a move that paves the way for the delivery of long lead items including graphite feedstock material which will be machined to PBMR specifications and will shape and support the reactor’s pebble bed core.

Project director, Brent Hegger, said the contract award was a significant moment in the project’s development: “It is firstly the largest contract we have placed to date, it also ranks as one of the first contracts for the procurement of the PMBR hardware range, and if anyone is missing the point, this is a sure sign that we have every intention of building the demo plant once all legal and administrative aspects have been completed.”

PBMR Ltd has re-opened its Public Participation Process on its Environmental Impact Assessment on the decision of the Cape High Court, and this reopening also caters for the increase in capacity of the demonstration power plant from 110 MW to 165 MW.

The nuclear vendor is currently awaiting a renewed Record of Decision and a licence from the National Nuclear Regulator to begin construction.