Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday laid the foundation stone for the kingdom's first nuclear research reactor, state media said, as the kingdom seeks to diversify its energy mix.
The reactor was among seven projects launched by the prince during a visit to Riyadh's King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
SPA offered no details on when the research or non-power reactor - typically used for research, development and education purposes - would be built and at what cost.
Saudi Arabia currently draws on oil and natural gas to meet its own fast-growing power demand and desalinate its water.
The world's top crude exporter harbours plans to build 16 nuclear reactors over the next two decades for $80 billion as it seeks to diversify, despite concerns over nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
The the prince also announced plans for a centre for developing aircraft fuselage.
In addition, he launched plans to build a solar energy-powered desalination station in Khafji, with a capacity of 60,000 cubic metres per day and a desalination plant in the city of Yanbu powered with solar energy, with a capacity of 5,200 cubic metres per day.
The kingdom will also build two production lines for solar panels and cells, and a laboratory to check credibility of solar panels, to be based in Uyaynah,
The Crown Prince also launched incubators and accelerators located in each of Dammam, Qassim, Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah and Abha, as part of Bader programme, which currently heads the Arab Network for ICT Incubators and UN technological cities in the Arab world.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.