* Previous plans by Eskom shelved due to lack of funds
* Nuclear plants to replace coal power stations
DURBAN, South Africa, Feb 23 South Africa plans
to build multiple nuclear plants to plug the country's power
deficit and reduce its carbon footprint, a senior official said
Director General at the ministry of energy Nelisiwe Magubane
said one plant only would not make sense economically.
"Nuclear is definitely on the table. We cannot build just
one plant, it has to be a fleet," she told Reuters on the
sidelines of an African utility conference in Durban.
Magubane said the nuclear plants will be used to replace
ageing coal-fired power plants, adding that between 2020 and
2030 some 7,000 MW would need to be built.
"Because of liabilities like waste management we wouldn't
want to leave it totally to private investors," she said.
The last attempt to build the country's next nuclear plant,
led by state-owned utility Eskom [ESCJ.UL], has been scratched
due to a lack of funding.
She said private investment would also help keep prices
reasonable, adding that in comparison to prices offered
elsewhere, the proposals put forward by the bidders in the last
tender were "highly overpriced".
"We might have been overcharged for Nuclear 1 -- that's the
consensus. The price was so crazy compared to what others are
offering," she said.
Bidders in the nuclear plant included France's Areva
CEPFi.PA and U.S. company Westinghaus.
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Michael Urquhart)