Emerging Markets, Energy, Frontier Markets

Saudi Arabia, South Korea Sign Nuclear Cooperation Pact To Build Reactors

Saudi Arabian King Salman, South Korean President Park Geun-hye - SPA

Saudi Arabian King Salman (right) with South Korean President Park Geun-hye (left). Photo courtesy of Saudi Press Agency.

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and South Korea have agreed to cooperate to build more than two small and medium-size nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia in a deal worth as much as $2 billion, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday and met with King Salman to discuss ways to enhance bilateral relations.

The two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to build the Western Asian nation’s SMART reactors, designed by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute specifically for Middle Eastern countries to generate electricity and desalinate seawater, the report said.

Saudi Arabia is pushing to develop nuclear reactors to meet its growing energy needs as it looks to build up to 18 reactors by 2040.

The nuclear agreement between Saudi Arabia and South Korea comes as the West is reportedly close to reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s nemesis.

The agreement calls for a feasibility study to construct the reactors in Saudi Arabia, which are expected to be completed by 2018.

Saudi Arabia previously signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea in 2011.


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