On December 5 in Riyadh Rosatom organized a seminar on Russian nuclear technology for Saudi businesses to discuss local content policies for a large-capacity nuclear power plant that is planned to be built in the kingdom.
Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear corporation, is offering Saudi Arabia VVER-1200 reactors of the latest Generation III+ design, says Alexander Voronkov, Director of Rosatom’s Regional Center for the Middle East and North Africa. This design was piloted at Russia’s nuclear power plants Novovoronezh II and Leningrad II and has proven to be reliable. Reactors of the same design will also be used in other overseas projects, including Egypt and Turkey.
In July 2017, the Saudi Council of Ministers approved the national nuclear program. This far-reaching initiative provides for 17 reactor units to be constructed by 2032 with the goal of reducing Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil.
On October 5, 2017 Rosatom and the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) signed the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Program.
Saudi Arabia launched a bidding process to select a nuclear reactor supplier for two power units and thus became the fourth country in the MENA region to make a positive decision on the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear construction projects in the other three countries of the region (Iran, Egypt and the UAE) are already underway. Rosatom was put on the short list for the next step of the bidding process, the winner of which will build a nuclear power plant in the Kingdom.
“Rosatom has a long track record of delivering projects in emerging nuclear countries that need to build nuclear infrastructure from scratch. This is why we are confident that we are able to provide any support – whether during design and construction or operation of the plant,” Alexander Voronkov said.
Miloš Mostecký, Vice President at Rusatom Overseas, spoke about local content and procurement. He stressed that the Russian nuclear corporation was an expert in acquiring local suppliers for its overseas projects. “We are sure that Saudi businesses are ready to take part in large-scale power engineering projects. They will be able to participate in the construction of a nuclear station in Saudi Arabia and are positive about the prospects of cooperation with Rosatom,” he said.