South Africa’s pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR) project has taken a step forward as a series of contracts are awarded for a demonstration project to be constructed at Koeberg in the Western Cape.

In the largest deal signed to date by PBMR, SGL Carbon has been contracted to supply graphite materials to the demonstration power plant (DPP) project. The deal paves the way for the procurement of long-lead items associated with the manufacture of the core structure ceramics for the DPP, including the manufacture of the graphite feedstock.

In a separate deal worth Rd20 million ($3 million), SNC-Lavalin Murray and Roberts (SLMR), a joint venture company of Canada’s SNC-Lavalin and South African Murray & Roberts, has been contracted for the delivery of the DPP.

The signing of this engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) deal, together with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) represents phase 1 of a longer-term contract that will see the development of the detailed engineering, procurement and construction plans.

The contract for phase 2 is planned to be signed during 2006 and will be the indicator of the longer-term engineering, procurement and construction management before the roll-out of the DPP by 2010. Construction is anticipated to begin during 2007 once all the legal and procedural matters have been finalised.

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