16 nuclear reactors to be ready by 2030

Updated 27 August 2013
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16 nuclear reactors to be ready by 2030

Saudi Arabia intends to become a leader in renewable energy by building 16 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 22GW, which is about half of the Kingdom’s current electricity output. The project is estimated to cost of more than $100 billion.
Abdul Ghani bin Melaibari, coordinator of scientific collaboration at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, confirmed the plan, adding that the first two reactors would be ready within 10 years.
However, he pointed out the cost building nuclear reactors in the Kingdom would be comparatively higher because of its extreme hot climate. He also stressed the need to train Saudis to operate and maintain such plants.
Melaibari said the cost of building and operating nuclear plants in France, Russia, South Korea and Japan differs from one country to another, depending on the technology they adopt, infrastructure facilities in place and the availability of cheap manpower.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbors regard nuclear power as a way to meet rising electricity demand while reducing reliance on polluting fossil fuels, say analysts.
“After 10 years we will have the first two reactors,” Melaibari told Arab News. “After that, every year we will establish two, until we have 16 by 2030. We would like to cover 20 percent of electricity needs using nuclear energy.”
He estimated the cost of each reactor to be around $7 billion, adding that the Kingdom is in the process of concluding deals with specialized companies to implement the project.
Many nations have taken a step back from nuclear plans following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. But GCC states are pursuing their plans with major investments in nuclear power.
The UAE in December 2009 awarded a South Korean consortium the contract to build four nuclear power plants worth $20.4 billion.
Power demand in Saudi Arabia is estimated to grow seven to eight percent during the next 10 years. It is the largest economy of the GCC, with an annual GDP of $622 billion and a GDP per capita of $24,200.


FaceOf: Shoura Council member Lina Khaled Almaeena

Lina Khaled Almaeena
Updated 21 April 2018
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FaceOf: Shoura Council member Lina Khaled Almaeena

  • Almaeena began her career as a writer and a journalist
  • Almaeena was appointed as a Shoura member in 2016 by King Salman

Lina Khaled Almaeena is Shoura Council member, businesswoman and philanthropist. She was born in Jeddah. She holds a BA in communications from George Mason University in Virginia and a master’s in psychology from the American University in London.

Almaeena began her career as a writer and a journalist. She participated in writing programs for Saudi radio and wrote for Almadinah newspaper.

The Shoura member, an avid sports lover, has been trying to encourage Saudi women’s involvement in the sports sector since her return to the Kingdom in 2000.

She founded Jeddah United, Saudi Arabia’s first private female basketball club, in 2003 and has since established a private company to run sports events and expand the sports scene in Saudi Arabia.

In 2004, she was selected to address the French Senate on International Women’s Day.

Almaeena is a member of the Young Saudi Business Committee and Sports Investment Committee in the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Kingdom Young Business Women Council.

She was 71st on a list of the 200 Most Powerful Women in the Middle East by Forbes Magazine in 2014. She also won the entrepreneurship award at the Women Leaders Forum in 2010 and is one of the few Saudi women to have climbed Mount Everest.

Almaeena was appointed as a Shoura member in 2016 by King Salman, charged with advising the Cabinet on legislation.

She is a supporter of women entering football stadiums and being more involved with sports.

Earlier, she said: “It’s not simply about the empowerment of women in sports from an athletic point of view. I’m also looking at it from an economic perspective.”

“It’s a golden age for Saudis and, as women, we’ve come a long way. We’re living in an era of historical change, and we’re making up for lost time.”