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Alstrom signs euro1.36 billion power station deal with Eskom during Sarkozy visit

Alstrom signs euro1.36 billion power station deal with Eskom during Sarkozy visit

French engineering company Alstom on Friday signed a deal worth euro1.36 billion (about US$2 billion) to equip a new coal power station for South Africa, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to help South Africa overcome an acute electricity shortage.
The Alstrom deal was signed Friday during a business summit attended by South African President Thabo Mbeki and Sarkozy.
A team of French engineers will arrive next week to advise the government and state utility Eskom on possible solutions to the electricity shortage, which has seriously disrupted the vital mining sector.
"You are victims of your own success," Sarkozy said. South Africa's sustained economic growth is partly responsible for the electricity shortage. The South African government also has conceded it ignored calls 10 years ago for more investment in power generating facilities.
Eskom wants to double generating capacity by 2011 by bringing three mothballed power stations back into production and building new power stations.
Under the contract signed Friday, Alstom will construct turbines at a new power station in the province of Mpumulanga. The French company signed a separate turbine contract last November for a new power plant in the northern province of Limpopo.
South Africa is dependent on coal powered stations for more than 90 percent of its electricity. But it also wants to expand its nuclear power generating capacity with the construction of a second nuclear power station.
A consortium including France's Areva has bid against Westinghouse of the United States for the nuclear contract. During Friday's business summit, Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon signed agreements with South Africa's Nuclear Energy Corporation to extend and increase Areva's support for engineering and nuclear skills development.


Updated : 2021-05-09 05:00 GMT+08:00