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Tue 5 Oct 2010 05:01 AM

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Saudi nuclear energy city discussed with companies

Kingdom has 'engaged the expertise' of 14 architectural and design houses

Saudi nuclear energy city discussed with companies
NUCLEAR ENERGY: Saudi Arabia has held talks with international companies to build its first nuclear and renewable energy city. (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, has held talks with international companies to build its first nuclear and renewable energy city, a vice president at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy said.

Speaking in Jeddah on Monday, Khalid al Sulaiman, vice president for renewable energy, said:“We have engaged the expertise and thinking of 14 of the best architectural and design houses,”

Of these, six are from Saudi Arabia, and the rest from Asia, Europe and North America, he said.

Saudi Arabia is one of several Gulf Arab countries seeking to develop nuclear energy to meet electricity demand that’s rising at about 8 percent a year.

The UAE awarded a $20 billion contract in December to a group of companies led by Korea Electric Power to build four nuclear plants, and Kuwait plans to build four reactors by 2022.

Saudi Arabia received bids from UK and US engineering companies due Oct 2 for a pre feasibility study of its nuclear power program, the Independent newspaper reported yesterday. A broad plan has already been drawn up by Poeyry Oyj, a Finnish energy consultant, the newspaper said, without disclosing the source of the information.

The kingdom, which holds the world’s largest oil reserves, will have an energy ”mix in which nuclear and renewable energies are viably integrated,” al Sulaiman said.

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