Saudi Arabia’s first ever nuclear power project is gaining momentum with the Kingdom announcing on 11 July that it had shortlisted the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom for the next stage of the bidding process.
The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) has also shortlisted Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) for the project. The USA, France and China are also among the contenders in the bid. The winning bidder is expected to be chosen in 2019.
Rosatom and the Ministry of Energy of Saudi Arabia signed a programme of cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy in October 2017. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak at a meeting of the intergovernmental commission of Russia and Saudi Arabia in November in Riyadh said that Rosatom is interested in establishing nuclear infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
Originally, Saudi Arabia planned to construct 16 nuclear units bn, but this has now been scaled back to two large nuclear power plants. It has projected 17GWe of nuclear capacity by 2040 to provide 15% of the power then, along with over 40GWe of solar capacity. Plans for small reactors for desalination are also well advanced.