Oil-rich Saudi Arabia plans dramatic shift to nuclear power

Saudi Arabia is planning to become “self-sufficient” in producing nuclear fuel and intends to begin extracting uranium domestically, the head of the country’s nuclear agency said at a conference organized by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. Nuclear New Build Summit Egypt 2018 will involve Saudi Arabia’s NPP new build programs, Register or contact us for details.

“Regarding the production of uranium in the kingdom, this is a program which is our first step towards self-sufficiency in producing nuclear fuel,” Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani, head of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, said Monday at the Abu Dhabi conference on nuclear power, Reuters reported.

Officials in the famously oil-rich kingdom say nuclear power could fuel an economic boon. “We utilize the uranium ore that has been proven to be economically efficient,” Yamani said.

KACARE believes there are about 60,000 tons of uranium ore that can be extracted on Saudi soil.

Yamani added that the kingdom would establish a regulatory agency and pass the necessary legislative framework for a nuclear program within roughly a year.

According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia is now looking to major nuclear powers, including the US, Russia, and China, to build its first two reactors. Preliminary plans suggest the Saudis may be looking to build as many as 17 reactors in all.

The comments raised eyebrows at the conference, as they suggested a Saudi push to increase its domestic nuclear development despite a long-running standoff with Iran over the latter’s nuclear ambitions.

There were no indications in Yamani’s comments that Riyadh had plans to begin enriching the uranium on Saudi soil, a key step that could give the kingdom the infrastructure for a military nuclear program.

The nuclear energy program, Yamani insisted, would be solely “for peaceful purposes.”

Saudi Arabia follows the neighboring United Arab Emirates, which is slated to open its own nuclear power reactor in 2018, and which has committed not to enrich uranium domestically.

Saudi Arabia to award nuclear reactor contract by end 2018

Saudi Arabia plans to award a construction contract for its first nuclear reactors by the end of 2018, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

“With sponsorship from the highest levels in the state, the contract will be signed by the end of 2018,” Maher al Odan, the chief atomic energy officer of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, told a news conference in the capital Riyadh.

In the upcoming Nuclear New Build Summit Egypt 2018, we will involve Saudi Arabia’s NPP new build plans, you can register now or contact us for more!

Saudi Arabia plans to launch nuclear power tender next month

Saudi Arabia is expected to launch a tender process for its first nuclear reactors as early as next month and will reach out to potential vendors from countries including South Korea, France and China. Our Nuclear New Build Summit Egypt 2018 will invovle Saudi Arabia and other 4 countries’ Nuclear Power Plant new build programs

The world’s top oil exporter wants to start construction next year on two plants with a total capacity of up to 2.8 gigawatts, three industry sources said, as it follows Gulf neighbor the United Arab Emirates in seeking atomic energy.

This will make it the second country in the Arab world to tap nuclear power as a way to diversify its energy supply for its 32 million population. The UAE’s first plant is expected to come online next year after delays.

While a possible multi-billion-dollar Saudi tender would be smaller than those being considered in India and South Africa, Saudi Arabia’s deep pockets and the lack of any anti-nuclear movement in the country could make it one of the strongest prospects for an industry struggling for contracts following the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

“Competition will be fierce,” an industry source said, adding Saudi Arabia was expected to send a Request for Information (RFI) to suppliers in October, marking the official start of the tender process following feasibility studies.

Saudi Arabia will likely provide more detail on the plans at the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, in Vienna next week, the sources said.

The plants are part of long-standing plans to diversify the OPEC member’s energy supply and has received extra momentum as part of its Vision 2030, a sweeping economic reform program launched last year by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The government agency tasked with the nuclear plans, The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In the longer-term, Saudi Arabia is considering building 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2032, KACARE says on its website.

That is the equivalent of about 17 standard nuclear reactors making it overall the biggest contract in the world, after South Africa and India.

A South Korea-based industry source with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed Riyadh was expected to issue the RFI for the first two plants in October to five potential bidders – South Korea, China, France, Russia and Japan.

The target is to pour the first concrete of reactor casing in 2018, a Saudi source familiar with the plans said, although nuclear construction timelines frequently face delays.

France has spent several years trying to make its case for selling its reactors to the kingdom.

A top French minister and chief executives of French utility EDF and reactor builder Areva visited the kingdom in 2013 while a Saudi delegation led by KACARE chief Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani went to Paris in July to discuss Riyadh’s atomic plans.

KACARE also discussed feasibility studies to build the first two reactors in the kingdom with Chinese officials in Beijing last month, pan-Arab media reported. Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom has also been in talks with KACARE about Saudi Arabia’s atomic ambitions.

They will all face steep competition from U.S., Japanese and South Korean consortia. Westinghouse-Toshiba has deep ties with the Middle East, and a South Korean-led consortium dealt the French a humiliating blow with its surprise win of a $40 billion contract in Abu Dhabi in 2009.

Want to know more and how to get involved, please do not miss Nuclear New Build Summit Egypt 2018, you can book here, if in doubt, please contact us

Saudi Arabia says still examining options for nuclear power plants

Saudi Arabia said on Monday it was still undertaking feasibility studies before deciding how and where to build its first nuclear power stations. In upcoming Nuclear New Build Summit Egypt 2018, we will invovle Saudi Arabia and other 4 countries, so you can get more information with our summit in 30 – 31 January 2018 on Cairo, Egypt.

Industry sources said last week that Saudi Arabia was expected to launch a tendering process for its first nuclear reactors as early as next month and would contact potential vendors from a number of countries including South Korea, France and China.

The sources said the world’s top oil exporter wants to start construction next year on two nuclear power plants with a total electricity generating capacity of up to 2.8 gigawatts, as it follows Gulf neighbour the United Arab Emirates in seeking to produce atomic energy.

“We are carrying out feasibility studies, technically and economically to build those nuclear reactors … in addition to detailed technical studies for the selection of the best locations,” said Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani, president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE).

He told the annual general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna that Saudi Arabia had teamed up with South Korean partners to locally build reactors which can function in remote areas without links to power grids.

“In addition we have a cooperation with the government of China in order to develop the high-temperature, gas-cooled reactors which also can be used in non-power applications in industries, petrochemicals and water desalination,” he said.

Yamani said that the Kingdom would have an independent body to supervise its nuclear industry by the third quarter of 2018, based on experience drawn from the Finnish atomic watchdog STUK.

The third pillar of the Saudi push into atomic energy will be based on the exploration and mining of uranium with a view to eventually reaching self-sufficiency in nuclear fuel production, he said.

The nuclear plants are part of long-standing plans to diversify the OPEC member’s energy supply and has received extra momentum as part of its Vision 2030, a sweeping reform programme launched last year by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia is considering building 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear-powered electricity generating capacity by 2032, KACARE says on its website.