14 Oct 2022 20:31

Rosatom to send documents for tender for construction of NPP in Saudi Arabia soon - Russian deputy PM

MOSCOW. Oct 14 (Interfax) - The state corporation Rosatom will send documents for a tender for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia soon, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying by Asharq News.

"Russia is a global leader in the sphere of nuclear energy, and, bearing in mind that Saudi Arabia plans to implement the first project to build a nuclear power plant today, our company, Rosatom, is participating in a tender for the implementation of this project," the media outlet quoted Novak as saying.

"The necessary documents will be filed in the near future," he said.

Rosatom previously sent relevant materials to Saudi Arabia. Rosatom General Director Alexei Likhachev told reporters in November 2021 the Saudi partners called that procedure competition negotiations, not a tender. "They are conducting negotiations on the conditions of implementation of the project with various countries and various companies, and even with international consortia. And they are informing us about that quite openly," he said.

"It's an important partner to us, and we will be maximally involved in this tender, as much as the circumstances allow. It's important to emphasize that we are the only ones who offer practically the entire range of services - design, construction, fuel supply, maintenance, creation of infrastructure, staff training, development of related industries, material science, nuclear medicine, scientific research - on behalf of one enterprise, one state corporation. We believe that besides the technical and economic conditions, which we, naturally, will improve as this competition dialogue progresses, we are the only ones who de facto still offers cooperation on the international level. It seems to me we are informing our partners about that, it seems to me they hear it, but they will determine the result themselves," he said.

Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an intergovernmental agreement on peaceful atom in 2015. Saudi Arabia then declared its intentions to use the nuclear power sector, building 16 nuclear power units. The kingdom later changed the strategy and focused on two plants.

The "parade of vendors" started in fall 2017, and Russia and Saudi Arabia signed a roadmap on peaceful atom in December.

In February 2018, Alexander Novak, who was then Russia's energy minister, told reporters Rosatom had filed a big for a tender the construction of two units of a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia. It was reported in July that Rosatom had been shortlisted for the next stage of the tender. In late 2018, Likhachev told reporters Russia had gone to the next stage of that tender.