CNNC forges Saudi bonds

29 November 2013

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has become the latest in a list of overseas companies turning their attention towards Saudi Arabia's nuclear power program.

A relaxed moment during Qian Zhimin's visit to KACST (Image: CNNC)

During a visit to King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST), CNNC general manager Qian Zhimin met with senior figures from the establishment which is home to both Saudi Arabia's national science agency and its national laboratories. As well as discussing cooperation in the field of nuclear science and technology, Qian Zhimin also signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA).

Although Saudi Arabia's nuclear program is in its infancy the kingdom has plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years. A 2010 royal decree identified nuclear power as essential to help meet growing energy demand for both electricity generation and water desalination while reducing reliance on depleting hydrocarbon resources.

Saudi Arabia already has bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with countries including China, Argentina, France and South Korea. Recent months have seen reactor vendors including Toshiba, Westinghouse, Exelon Nuclear Partners (ENP) and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy forge various agreements to work together on proposals for Saudi nuclear plants.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News