Saudi to build 16 nuclear reactors

Jun 1, 2011

RIYADH – OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 civilian nuclear reactors in the next two decades at a cost of 300 billion riyals (S$98.47 billion), an energy official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Newspapers cited Abdul Ghani Malibari, coordinator at the Saudi civilian nuclear agency, as saying the kingdom would launch an international tender for the reactors to be used in generating electricity and desalinating sea water.

‘After 10 years we will have the first two reactors. After that, every year we will establish two, until we have 16 by 2030,‘ he was quoted as saying at the Gulf Environment Forum in Jeddah on Tuesday.

Mr Malibari said the reactors would cover about 20 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s electricity needs, adding that the kingdom would launch a 20-year plan this year to introduce renewable clean energy.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, is seeking to diversify its sources of energy for domestic use.

In February, it signed a cooperation agreement with France on peaceful nuclear energy development to help meet rising demand, having inked a similar deal with the United States in 2008. — AFP


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