Russia's Rosatom embarks on bid to build Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear power plant

The kingdom announced in March that it had established a holding company to 'develop, own and operate nuclear assets'

Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom's stand at the military-technical forum 'Army-2021' in Moscow last year. Reuters
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Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom has submitted documents to take part in a tender to build Saudi Arabia's first nuclear power plant, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister has revealed.

“The documents have been handed in for the tender on the plant's construction in Saudi Arabia,” Alexander Novak said, in an article for Energy Policy magazine, according to Tass news agency.

Earlier reports said Rosatom was planning to file the corresponding documents.

Mr Novak said it was hoped that co-operation between Russia and Saudi Arabia in the sector would intensify not only in the construction of the nuclear power plant, but for a wide array of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes as well.

Rosatom Chief Executive Alexey Likhachev said at the end of last year that the state corporation planned to fully participate in the tender for the construction of the nuclear facility in Saudi Arabia, given that the kingdom was an important partner.

In March, Saudi Arabia announced that it was establishing a holding company to “develop, own and operate nuclear assets through affiliate or jointly established companies to produce electricity and desalination of saltwater.”

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's major operators of seawater desalination plants, but currently they mainly operate on thermal power, burning fuel oil, or using reverse osmosis membranes which extract fresh water from the sea.

The kingdom has vast reserves of uranium ore that it plans to use to develop a nuclear power programme, according to Saudi state media.

Updated: December 13, 2022, 2:18 PM