RIYADH: The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) plans to hire the services of a global company to advise on Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear project in the next two months, Argaam said citing a CNBC Arabia TV channel report.
According to the report, the global bidders for the project include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, HSBC and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The Kingdom has said it wants to tap nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix.
Nuclear power is seen as especially well-suited to and beneficial in the Middle East, where energy demand is growing rapidly.
The Kingdom announced its nuclear national policy in 2018. It plans to build as many as 16 nuclear power plants over the next 20 to 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. It has projected 17 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear capacity by 2032 to provide 15 percent of the power then, along with more than 40 GW of solar capacity.
Nuclear power provides 11 percent of the world’s electricity with 454 nuclear reactors operating in 30 countries and 54 plants under construction — including 11 in China, seven in India, and six in Russia. Nuclear energy is not only clean but also available around the clock. Renewables such as solar and wind are good energy sources but are dependent on weather conditions, which are not always stable.
So far, the Kingdom has identified two possible sites for power stations, on the Gulf coast at Umm Huwayd and Khor Duweihin. Plans for small reactors for desalination are also well advanced.
KACARE was established by the late King Abdullah in 2010 to build a sustainable future for the Kingdom through an alternative energy strategy supported by local industries.
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