DUBAI, June 1 Saudi Arabia plans to build 16
nuclear power reactors by 2030 which could costs more than $100
billion, a Saudi-based newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a
The world's top crude exporter, Saudi is struggling to keep
up with rapidly rising power demand. It has considered boosting
its domestic energy capacity using nuclear reactors.
"After 10 years we will have the first two reactors," Abdul
Ghani bin Melaibari, coordinator of scientific collaboration at
King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, told Arab
Many have backed away from atomic plans after the accident
at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant but oil-rich Gulf states are
among the few countries looking to make major investments in
nuclear power plants.
"After that, every year we will establish two, until we have
16 of them by 2030," he said.
He estimated the cost of each reactor to be around $7
billion, adding that the Kingdom is in the process of planning
for the nuclear project and coordination with specialized
The kingdom plans to cover 20 percent of its electricity
needs using nuclear energy, said Melaibari.
Power demand in the top oil exporter is estimated to grow
7-8 percent during the next 10 years.
Neighbouring United Arab Emirates in December 2009 awarded a
South Korean consortium the contract to build four nuclear power
plants worth $20.4 billion.
(Reporting by Sara Anabtawi; Editing by Jon Herskovitz)