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Abdulaziz bin Salman: Saudi Arabia Wants to Enrich Uranium for Nuclear Power

Abdulaziz bin Salman: Saudi Arabia Wants to Enrich Uranium for Nuclear Power

Tuesday, 10 September, 2019 - 05:00
Saudi Arabia's new Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman speaks during a panel discussion at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Satish Kumar
Abu Dhabi - Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Arabia wants to enrich uranium for its nuclear power program, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday.

The world’s top oil exporter says it wants to use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix.

“We are proceeding with it cautiously ... we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors,” Prince Abdulaziz said, referring to a plan to issue a tender for the country’s first two nuclear power reactors.

The tender is expected in 2020, with US, Russian, South Korean, Chinese and French firms involved in preliminary talks about the multi-billion-dollar project.

The Energy Minister also said on Monday that Saudi Arabia was aiming for the Aramco IPO "as soon as possible.”

The Kingdom intends to make initial steps ahead of a public sale of around 5 percent of Aramco in 2020, sources said.

Aramco is finalizing the list of banks that will manage the deal, with mandates expected in the coming days, the sources told Reuters.

JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and National Commercial Bank are expected to have lead roles and Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Samba Financial Bank will likely be added to the list of banks managing the transaction, they said.

Aramco raised $12 billion this year in its first international bond, gaining more than $100 billion in demand.

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