DUBAI, (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has signed a nuclear energy cooperation deal with nuclear desalination specialist Argentina, the Saudi government said on Tuesday.
Argentina’s Atomic Energy Commission and technology firm INVAP have a simplified pressurised water reactor design aimed at small-scale electricity generation and water desalination projects, which are both urgent needs for the oil-rich Kingdom.
“Saudi Arabia is very pleased to have entered into a cooperation agreement with Argentina, a country that has exhibited continued leadership in the transfer of technology, the sharing of best practices, and the safe operation of atomic reactors,” said Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani, president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.
“With Saudi Arabia’s local power demand expected to nearly triple in the next 20 years, it’s critical that the Kingdom use atomic and renewable energy technologies to meet this growing demand in a safe, sustainable and clean manner.”
Saudi is struggling to keep up with rapidly rising power demand, especially for energy intensive seawater desalination, and wants to build nuclear reactors to cut gas and oil burning in the power generation sector.
It has signed similar agreements with several other countries with experience in nuclear energy. INVAP has built research reactors in Algeria and Egypt.