L’énergie nucléaire for Saudis & bin Ladens

February 22, 2011

Ah, another Gaullist day in Arabia.  The French company Areva is “excited” to have signed a deal to furnish Saudi Arabia with nuclear power.  Areva, which is 90 percent government-owned, is including a solar power deal for the sunbaked desert kingdom for good public show, too. 

Behind the convenient cover story of a depleting energy supply and a desire to diversify civil energy sources, the Saudis are probably pursuing the technology as a counterweight to Iran’s nuclear program.  On one hand, the initiative may be a beneficial deterrent to Iran.  On the other hand, considering the rising tide of Islamist protests against the existing regimes of the Islamic world, selling technologies to a “rational” actor like the Saudi royal family could prove to be disastrously shortsighted.

Oh, and the bin Laden Group will also be a co-partner in the power plant construction, but that is but a petit detail, oui?  Read it all, mes amis, from The National last month (with hat tip to Crossroads Arabia):

Saudi Binladin Group and the French nuclear reactor designer Areva are to sign an agreement on nuclear and solar power, advancing Saudi plans for diversifying the kingdom’s electricity supply.

Anne Lauvergeon, the chief executive of Areva, announced the prospective deal in Riyadh on Sunday, saying the companies would sign a partnership agreement to develop both types of power. She declined to give further details.

“We are in a major energy evolution in the region,” Ms Lauvergeon told a conference in the Saudi capital. “In the past it was oil and gas, and that was it. Now it’s oil, gas, renewables and nuclear.

“We are very excited about this evolution and we would like to be a long-term partner of these developments.”

“We think that on solar thermal in Saudi Arabia there’s an important market and we are partnering with Saudi Binladin Group to develop this,” Ms Lauvergeon added on the sidelines of the conference.

A spokeswoman for Areva, reached at the company’s Paris headquarters yesterday, said any deal signed in Saudi Arabia would mainly concern solar power. She said Ms Lauvergeon travelled to Riyadh in response to Saudi requests for discussions on possible solar projects and advice on the direction of the kingdom’s nuclear programme.

Saudi Arabia has responded to soaring power demand as it pursues industrial development by burning oil in its power plants to supplement an insufficient gas supply. As a result, air quality in its cities has deteriorated, while power cuts remain frequent in summer.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia has burnt increasing amounts of crude oil in its power plants in the past two years, limiting foreign revenue from oil exports as the kingdom has also sought to comply with the output cuts on which Opec agreed in late 2008. It is the only major economy dependent on oil for more than 50 per cent of electricity supplies.

Hashim Yamani, the president of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Atomic and Renewable Energy City, said power diversification would free up more oil for export.

“Saudi will need to invest upfront in nuclear energy but the oil saved will contribute significantly to the costs,” Mr Yamani told Reuters. “Nuclear and renewable energy will reduce dependence on fossil fuels by 2050”…


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Candice, CandiceLanier.Com. CandiceLanier.Com said: Bin Laden Group to Help Provide Saudis with Nuclear Energy http://bit.ly/geyvNP #tcot #israel […]

  2. The Bin Laden clan are paedophile sandmonkies.

    • Abdul, thanks for reading & commenting, and I am not defending the bin Laden family on any measure, but if you are using the term “sand monkey” as a racial slur, you’re on notice that such terminology is absolutely unwelcome & unacceptable here on this blog. Any future comments like that from you or anybody will be deleted as soon as I see them.

      As for the pedophilia allegation, please provide a link or something explaining the charge.

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