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KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, March 4 Saudi Arabia and
South Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to
cooperate on the development of nuclear energy, Saudi state news
agency SPA said, building on a deal signed in 2011.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye met with Saudi Arabia's
King Salman on Tuesday in Riyadh during an official visit, SPA
The MOU calls for South Korean firms to help build at least
two small-to-medium sized nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia, the
South Korean presidential office said in a statement.
"If the two units go ahead, the cost of the contract will be
(near) $2 billion," the statement said.
Saudi Arabia aims to build 17 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear
power by 2032 as well as around 41 GW of solar capacity. The oil
exporter currently has no nuclear power.
Those plans are likely to take until 2040, the head of the
King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE),
in charge of overseeing such projects, said in January.
On Tuesday, K.A.Care said in a statement: "The two sides
will discuss the current mutual activities and ways and means of
future collaboration, building on the bilateral agreement
already signed between the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the
Republic of South Korea in 2011 with a view to develop and apply
nuclear energy for peaceful uses."
That agreement called for cooperation in research and
development, as well as in construction and training.
Separately, Saudi Electricity signed four energy-related
agreements on Tuesday with U.S. company General Electric
as well as South Korea's Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO)
, Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction
The KEPCO agreement calls for cooperation in development of
nuclear and renewable energy.
Al Hassan Ghazi Ibrahim Shaker Co. also signed a
non-binding MOU with South Korea's LG Electronics on
cooperation in cooling systems for nuclear reactors.
The United Arab Emirates was the first Gulf Arab state to
start building a nuclear power plant. In December 2009, the UAE
awarded a group led by KEPCO a contract to build four 1,400
MW nuclear reactors to meet surging demand for electricity.
(Reporting by Reem Shamseddine and Brian Kim; editing by Rania
El Gamal and Jason Neely)