Saudi Arabia is likely to begin the process to find a vendor to build the country’s first nuclear reactors as early as next month, said a report, citing nuclear industry sources.
The kingdom seeks to build two plants that could generate up to 2.8 gigawatts of energy, three industry sources told Reuters.
“Competition will be fierce” one source told Reuters, adding that the Saudis were expected to send a Request for Information (RFI) to suppliers in China, France, Japan, Russia, and South Korea in October, thus beginning the tender process of finding a vendor to build the plant.
Saudi Arabia would present the details of their plan to the United Nations; nuclear watchdog affiliate, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) later this month, reported Sputnik citing a senior industry source. They also hope to begin construction of the plant in 2018.
This would make it the second Arab country to explore the use of nuclear energy, after the UAE Saudi Arabia’s goal is to build 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy capacity by 2032, according to the website of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (Kacare). As Saudi Arabia has no nuclear industry, they will have to hire a foreign contractor.
Companies such as French reactor builder Areva, China’s National Nuclear Corporation and the Moscow-owned Rosatom have all approached Kacare for setting up Saudi Arabia's first nuclear reactors in the past, stated the report. There has also been interest from other reactor builders, such as Japanese conglomerate Toshiba and the South Korean utility company Korea Electric Power Corporation, which is the company building the UAE’s $40 billion reactor it added.