Saturday, December 2, 2017

France's EDF eyeing big Saudi nuclear projects

French state-controlled utility EDF aims to take part in a tender for the construction of two nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia, said a report, citing senior sources.

Saudi Arabia, which wants to reduce domestic oil consumption, is considering building 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear-fuelled power generation capacity by 2032 and has sent a request for information to international suppliers to build two reactors, reported Reuters.

With answers to the request due by the end 2017 or early 2018, a formal tender could be launched by mid-2018, but more likely toward the end of 2018 or early 2019, it stated.

EDF has held talks with Saudi Arabia on selling Areva-designed European Pressurized Reactors (EPR) - the world's largest reactor model with a capacity of 1,600 MW - but has not publicly confirmed it will bid, said the report, citing the source.

Saudi Arabia's nuclear plans are some of the largest in an industry struggling with weaker demand following Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Last month, a Saudi nuclear official told a conference in Abu Dhabi that for the first two reactors the kingdom is considering reactor models in the 1,000-1,600 megawatt (MW) range, said the Reuters report.

EDF hopes that by late 2018-early 2019 at least two should be operational, it added.

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