Bloomberg: GE-Hitachi Venture to Pursue Nuclear Power Contracts in Saudi Arabia

Edited By Tom Lamar

According to Bloomberg, A venture between General Electric Co. and Hitachi Ltd. plans to pursue contracts in Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil supplier develops an atomic program to meet rising power demand.

“Nuclear is part of a natural progression for us to work with Saudi Arabia,” Daniel Roderick, senior vice president at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, said in a telephone interview in Riyadh today. “We want to work with the Saudi government on developing their program in the most efficient way.”

Saudi Arabia is turning to atomic energy to save oil reserves for overseas sales as economic expansion boosts power demand by 8 percent a year. GE is among companies seeking opportunities in the fledgling nuclear program after the U.S. agreed in 2008 to help the kingdom develop the industry.

Shaw Group, Toshiba Corp. and Exelon Nuclear Partners, a unit of Exelon Corp., said in July that they teamed up to pursue nuclear power contracts in Saudi Arabia. The group wants to provide engineering, procurement, construction and operations for nuclear power plants.

A delegation of 11 U.S. companies led by Francisco Sanchez, the undersecretary for international trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce, visited the kingdom this month to explore investment opportunities, including in nuclear power. Companies on the delegation included Shaw Group and Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE.

Saudi Arabia announced in April the construction of King Abdullah City for Nuclear and Renewable Energy in Riyadh.

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