Saudi Arabia eyes 16 nuclear reactors by 2030

Top official says each reactor could cost $7bn, first two to be built in the next 10 years
Saudi Arabia eyes 16 nuclear reactors by 2030
nuclear energy, nuclear plant
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 01 Jun 2011 05:58 PM

Saudi Arabia is planning to build 16 nuclear reactors over the next 20 years, according to a top official.

Abdul Ghani bin Melaibari, coordinator of scientific collaboration at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, also said that arrangements were being made to offer the project for international bidding.

He made the remarks during the Gulf Environment Forum, which concluded in Jeddah on Tuesday.

Each reactor may cost around $7 billion, he told the Gulf Environment Forum, Saudi daily Arab News reported on Wednesday.

“After 10 years we will have the first two reactors. After that, every year we will establish two, until we have 16 of them by 2030,” said the official in comments published by the paper.

Melaibari said the nuclear reactors would cover about 20 percent of the kingdom’s needs for electricity.

Earlier this month, the kingdom's water and electricity minister, Abdullah Al Husayen, said Saudi Arabia needed to invest SR330bn ($88bn) over the next 10 years as demand for electricity continues to grow 7-8 percent annually.

He said the water and power sector would need investments of SR500bn in the next ten years, and that demand for water was growing by more than seven percent per year.

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