DUBAI, (Reuters) – Kuwait, the world’s No. 4 oil exporter, has decided to build four nuclear reactors by 2022, each with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, a senior nuclear energy official was quoted as saying on Saturday.
State news agency KUNA quoted the secretary general of Kuwait’s National Nuclear Energy Committee, Ahmad Bishara, as saying several options to develop the nuclear sector were being considered and a general plan would be issued in January.
Bishara also said Kuwait was in discussions with international partners to find a suitable mix for producing nuclear energy over the next 20 years. The initial analysis, he was quoted as saying, showed that nuclear energy was a viable option if oil prices remained above $45-$50 a barrel.
Bishara signed a cooperation agreement in Japan this week to expand nuclear capacity in the Gulf nation, raising the prospect of lucrative deals for Japanese companies.
Kuwait signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with France in April.
Electricity demand in Kuwait is expected to grow 7 percent per year, Bishara added.
The OPEC member has recently been asking for more assurances from Iran about the safety of the Bushehr nuclear power reactor which Tehran has started fuelling up, as it fears the plant could pollute Gulf waters.]
Kuwait is looking to boost oil output capacity to 4 million barrels a day (bpd) by 2020 and gas output to 4 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) by 2030.
It has relied on oil exports for more than 90 percent of state revenues. Current oil production capacity is 3.1 million bpd.