Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) — Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Co. said it’s “fully” interested in South Africa’s plans to build six nuclear power plants by 2023 as the country seeks to tackle an energy shortage.

Westinghouse would participate in a tender to supply atomic plants to Africa’s biggest economy, Bultie Nel, managing director of the company’s local unit, said today in an e-mailed response to questions. Westinghouse “is constantly working on how to provide this high-safety technology at a still better competitive price,” Nel said.

South Africa is battling an electricity shortage after the government suspended the expansion plans of state-owned utility Eskom Holdings Ltd. while it tried and failed to convince private companies to build power plants. That resulted in a five-day shutdown of most mines in the country in early 2008.

In December of that year, South Africa halted plans to build a second, 120 billion-rand ($17.5 billion) nuclear plant as the global financial crisis tightened credit markets. Westinghouse and Areva SA, the world’s largest supplier of reactors, had vied for the canceled order.

Eskom subsequently cut a five-year, 460 billion-rand expansion program because of a lack of funding.

Source: 321 Energy.

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