Toshiba Corporation's Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Africa's Sebata Group in preparation for what it calls "the potential construction" of Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plants in the country.
In a statement, Westinghouse said the MoU marks the start of a collaboration aimed at the "development of an engineering-led organisation, involved in a variety of disciplines, including safety, health, environment, risk and quality (SHERQ) and authorised inspection agency services, manufacturing quality support and skills development and training in the nuclear industry sector".
Westinghouse has been active in South Africa's nuclear industry, mainly through support to the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station (pictured), since the 1990s and is at the origin of the nuclear fleet technology in the country – South Africa's two reactors are Westinghouse-licensed.
"This important agreement with Sebata Group not only reaffirms our pledge to use local talent and resources, but our commitment to develop and support the South African nuclear industry," said François Harari, Westinghouse vice president and managing director for France, Benelux and South Africa. "Westinghouse and Sebata Group will utilise their complementary skills in upcoming projects to further develop the expertise required for an eventual nuclear build project in South Africa. Supplier development is critical to Westinghouse and that's why we think globally but act locally."
Westinghouse recently signed an agreement with South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) to investigate and cooperate in the development of local fabrication capabilities for fuel assembly components.
Its main localisation drive started in 2007 when it acquired IST Nuclear (Pty) Ltd, now operating as Westinghouse Electric South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
From offices in Cape Town and Centurion, Westinghouse supports Eskom's Koeberg facilities, Necsa, other local nuclear industry partners, and projects in China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
"We're very pleased with this partnership," said Matome Edmund Modipa, Sebata Group executive chairman and founder of Sebata Group. "It's aligned with our growth strategy in positioning Sebata Group as a premier SHERQ, engineering, management consulting and training and nuclear company in Africa."
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