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Cape Chamber welcomes nukes - 16 January 2008
THE Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed Eskom’s bid to increase generating capacity in the Western Cape by calling for tenders for new nuclear plants.
“The decision to increase nuclear capacity will be controversial but we must rcognise that, by and large, the Koeberg plant has served us well and it is understandable that Eskom would look to nuclear power in the absence of local coal reserves,” said Gerald Wolman, President of the Chamber.
He said the Western Cape, as the extreme point of the national electricity grid, was vulnerable and local generating capacity would provide more security of supply to local commerce and industry.
“Our main concern is that it takes a long to build new nuclear power stations and the time table for construction may prove to be optimistic. In the circumstances we urge the Government and Eskom to look to our off-shore gas fields for future energy supplies as combined cycle gas turbines are efficient and clean and can be built fairly quickly.”
Wolman said there was also concern about the financing of new generating capacity. “In recent years Eskom has generated good profits for its shareholder (the government) and when you add to this the vast income from VAT on electricity, the Government should be in a position to invest more in electricity. VAT alone will provide a guaranteed dividend. Fourteen percent on turnover should be more than enough to reward the Government for the investment!” he said.
Source: Cape Business News