The funding model of South Africa’s nuclear build programme will be determined by the response received from bidders, the Department of Energy has said.

South Africa plans to introduce 9,600 megawatts of nuclear energy to the grid in the next decade.

“The funding model of the project will be determined by the response received from the markets once bidders have responded to the request for procurement,” the department said in a statement. “This will also be done at a pace and scale that the government can afford.”

Reports have indicated that power utility Eskom, who is the designated procurer for the new nuclear programme, will issue a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) from bidders in June.

The department said the procurement and implementation timelines for the programme are dependent on the finalisation of all pre-procurement preparatory work.

In February, Eskom said it received a positive response to the Request for Information (RFI) it issued in relation to the proposed South African nuclear new build programme, and 27 companies stated their intention to provide a response to the RFI.

The companies included major nuclear vendors from China (SNPTC), France (EdF), Russia (Rusatom Overseas) and South Korea (KEPCO).

Last December, Eskom issued the RFI on its website. It asked companies that felt they could provide relevant information to confirm whether they would respond to this by the end of January.

Responses to the RFI are expected to be submitted by 10am on 28 April 2017.