Eskom says it is looking to 'dispose' of company behind Pebble Bed Modular Reactor

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)
(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Eskom has clarified that it is seeking to dispose of the the state-owned company behind the development of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. 

While the local project to develop small modular nuclear reactors was closed in 2010 and its employees retrenched, Eskom this week put out a "expression of interest" tender to commercialise the business, leading to speculation that it may be revived. 

But on Friday Eskom, which has a debt burden of R450bn, said the tender was strictly for market research purposes to gauge interest. 

"While various options were explored to commercialise PBMR in the past, Eskom now intends to dispose of the company, providing the market with unrestricted options to pursue," it said in a statement on Friday. 

According to the tender documents, the project has been under care and maintenance since 2010. Its strategic assets include nearly 300 patents. 

Eskom has called for expressions of interest from companies that want to invest in PBMR reactor or fuel technology, buy shares in the group, buy PMBR technologies, or any other 'potential relationships or transactions". 

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