South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa) Chairman, Kelvin Kemm, announced that the Russian energy group Rosatom is a contender for South Africa’s nuclear expansion project and the country will award the contract by the end of 2017, Reuters stated.

According to CNBC, South Africa is planning to build 9,600 MW of nuclear capacity to wean itself off coal, a project that could be one of the world’s biggest nuclear contracts in decades.

Besides Rosatom, major nuclear firms from South Korea, France, the United States and China are interested in bidding for it.

Kemm stated “We are aiming for this to be done before the end of the year, and we very imminently want to start.”

“Rosatom is definitely in there, but a decision has not been finally made. That will be a decision made by the senior politicians in collaboration with the technological and the company people,” Kemm said.

The Russian company was in contact with South African authorities over their plans to increase the country’s nuclear capacity. Those plans were disrupted after South Africa’s High Court earlier this year deemed a nuclear cooperation pact with Russia unlawful