Saudi Focus

Nuclear plant deals ‘by 2018-end’

February 2018

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, will be awarding contracts for the construction of its first nuclear-power plants by the year-end, said a report.

The kingdom has already received requests from five bidders – China, France, the US, South Korea and Russia – for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work on two nuclear reactors, reported Bloomberg, citing a senior official.

“By April, we will sign a project development agreement with two to three selected vendors,” remarked Abdulmalik Al Sabery, a consultant in the business development department at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.

 “We are going to have only one winner that will be building the two reactors”.  The government expects construction to start next year and is aiming for commissioning the facilities in 2027, he said in an interview.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil for most of its revenues as part of its plan to build 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear capacity by 2032. As part of these reforms, the country wants to meet a larger share of its energy needs from renewables such as solar power and from nuclear plants, it added. 

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