DURBAN, March 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is ready to assist South Africa with construction of nuclear power plants (NPP) in the country, providing a line of credit if the project is implemented by Russian specialists, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
Putin arrived in Durban on a two-day visit to attend the fifth BRICS summit with the leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa.
“Russia is offering South Africa not only to help with construction of nuclear power reactors, but also with the creation of the advanced nuclear power industry, including the extraction of raw materials, construction of NPPs and research reactors, design and domestic production of nuclear power equipment with Russian credit support,” Putin said after talks with South African President Jacob Zuma.
South Africa has two nuclear reactors generating 5 percent of its electricity.
Government commitment to the future of nuclear energy is strong, with firm plans for further 9,600 MWe in the next decade, but financial constraints are severe, according to World Nuclear Association.
Overall, the Russian-South African summit on Tuesday produced a raft of cooperation agreements, including a joint declaration on strategic partnership.
The sides agreed to boost their bilateral trade, which reached almost $1 billion in 2012, Putin said.
“We are planning to set up a joint production of the Ansat light multipurpose helicopter. Talks are underway on the delivery of Russian-made MS-21 passenger planes to South Africa,” the Russian president said.
The joint declaration on strategic partnership includes a clause “on the expansion of cooperation in the military sphere, including military and military-technical cooperation in long-term perspective and other forms of interaction between the armed forces of the two countries.”