Saudi renewable energy city in Riyadh

JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia is to establish the King Abdullah Nuclear and Renewable Energy City in Riyadh.

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Published: Mon 19 Apr 2010, 8:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:35 AM

A royal decree issued by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on Saturday explained that it would use atomic energy for peaceful purposes, especially in industry, agriculture, mining, desalination and medical field.

A ministerial committee chaired by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal, had recommended establishment of the city.

The city will be an independent organisation and will represent the Kingdom at the International Atomic Energy Agency.

A supreme council chaired by King Abdullah (prime minister) has been set up to supervise the city. Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defence and aviation, is the deputy chairman of the council.

Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Prince Nayef is a member of the 13-member council.

Other members of the top decision-making body are the ministers of foreign affairs, higher education, petroleum and mineral resources, finance, commerce and industry, water and electricity, agriculture and health, and the chief of general intelligence.

Dr Hashem bin Abdullah Yamani has been named the president of city, Dr Walid bin Hussein Abu Al Faraj will be the vice-president, and Dr Khaled bin Muhammad Al Sulaiman has been named the vice-president for renewable energy affairs.

The royal decree said development of atomic energy is essential to meet the Kingdom’s growing requirements for energy to generate electricity, produce desalinated water and reduce reliance on depleting hydrocarbon resources.

Electricity power demand in the Kingdom grew by eight per cent last year and is expected to grow more than 60,000 megawatt by 2020.

The royal decree said nuclear and renewable energies would ensure continued supplies of drinking water and electricity to its growing population and save hydrocarbon resources such as petroleum and gas for use by future generations, thus making them a source of income for a longer period.

An official statement said that the peaceful use of nuclear energy will enable the state to meet the requirements of society through proper planning. It said the new city would serve as a scientific and specialised authority to draft and implement national policies relating to nuclear and renewable energy, and revise related regulations.

The city will encourage the private sector to develop research material on medical, agricultural, industrial and mineral products, generate electricity and produce desalinated water using atomic energy.

It will also work to enhance the capabilities of the national cadre in the field.

The city will be exempted from all taxes and tariffs on its machinery and equipment that it imports for its scientific activities.

According to the city’s bylaw, which has 17 articles, the supreme councilís endorsement is a must for implementing its policies and projects. The city will be responsible for all commercial use of nuclear power and the handling of radioactive waste.

Article Three of the Bylaw says the city would contribute to achieving sustained development of the Kingdom through the use of nuclear science and technology and related industries.

“It will also improve the standard and quality of living in the country,” it said, and added that the city would support research, scientific development and the acquiring of nuclear technology.

All departments related to nuclear and renewable energy at King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology will be shifted to the new city including its staff and properties within a year. The president of the city will be its chief executive officer, the law says, and the city will have an independent budget.

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