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Heads of State of China and Saudi Arabia Witness Signing of Agreement on Saudi’s HTGR Project Feasibility Study

Date:2017-03-23

On the morning of March 16, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud witnessed the signing of an agreement between Gu Jun, general manager of China Nuclear Engineering & Construction (CNEC) Corporation, and Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani, president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), on joint feasibility study on constructing high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR) in Saudi Arabia.

Based on previous cooperation, according to the agreement, the two sides will make further efforts in the development of system solutions for the investment and construction of the HTGR project, cooperation in intellectual property, and localization of industrial supply chains, thus providing support for the Saudi government in its decisions related to an HTGR project while paving the path for promoting the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the export of HTGR technology.

Early in January 2016, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Saudi Arabia, heads of state of the two countries witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between CNEC Group and KACARE on the construction of an HTGR project. Since then, the two sides have worked together for site selection for the project, establishing a regulatory system, and training personnel, which made this feasibility study agreement possible.

CNEC President Gu Jun presents an HTGR model to KACARE President Yamani.

On March 15, KACARE President Yamani and his entourage paid a visit to the headquarters of CNEC Group for cooperation talks. CNEC Corporation General Manager Gu Jun briefed the visiting guests about China’s experience in nuclear power development, China’s progress in HTGR technology, and CNEC’s edge as a global forerunner in the field of nuclear power construction. President Yamani elaborated on Saudi Arabia’s plans and policies on nuclear energy development, and expressed hopes to establish an even closer partnership with CNEC Group for all-round cooperation in HTGR technology R&D, personnel training, and project construction, aiming to promote the application of HTGR technology in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. Both sides agreed to accelerate their joint feasibility study and carry out all-round cooperation in the HTGR project under the frameworks of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030”. Shu Weiguo, deputy director of the Science and Technology Committee of CNEC Corporation, Wu Hanjing, general manager of CNEC’s HTGR Company, and others attended the meeting.