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.
On that note, TASS reported last week that Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has sent its proposals to the Saudi party for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia, head of Rosatom Alexei Likhachev.
“Of course, we have sent it,” he said, when answering the relevant question.
“I hope that we will reach an agreement on cooperation in peaceful atom and other areas, such as mobile sources of nuclear energy, small and medium-sized power sources, scientific research,” he noted.
“Saudi Arabia has got down to creating its own nuclear power industry. The first step has been taken – a request was sent for a parade of vendors prepared to build a major nuclear power plant,” he said.
Likhachyov said Rosatom hoped for cooperation with Saudi Arabia in building nuclear power plants and in creating mobile power sources.
Saudi Arabia’s population has grown from 4 million in 1960 to almost 30 million in 2014. It is is the main electricity producer and consumer in the Gulf States, with 312 TWh gross production in 2014, 152 TWh from oil and 160 TWh from gas – a 32% increase over the previous two years.