CNNC and Saudi Arabia expedite uranium and thorium collaborations

Updated: 2017-09-01


Qian Zhimin, president of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), and Dr Zohair A Nawab, president of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), signed a memorandum of understanding regarding CNNC and SGS furthering a partnership for uranium and thorium resources in Saudi Arabia on Aug 24.

The memorandum was signed in the presence of Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, marking a big stride of CNNC implementing the Belt and Road Initiative and the export of nuclear power across the world.

To extend mine exploitation, CNNC and SGS will continue to carry out work based upon accomplishments already gained in the first phase of the collaboration. The exploration of mineral resources will be expedited to meet the demand of radioactive resources for Saudi nuclear power, according to the MoU.

Earlier in March, CNNC and SGS signed a MoU in Beijing in the presence of top officials from China and Saudi Arabia regarding bilateral cooperation in mineral resources.

SGS President Nawab praised the highly efficient outdoor geological research of the first phase conducted by CNNC staff who accomplished the fieldwork in Saudi Arabia across nine zones within two months.

The Saudi clients spoke highly of China’s technical strength and professionalism, and conveyed hope to deepen bilateral cooperation in the future. 

As a country mainly dependent upon petroleum and natural gas, Saudi Arabia has suffered much pressure on oil and gas resources. To handle the situation, the country has drafted a strategic program to develop nuclear energy, and sought global partnerships to establish an advanced nuclear industrial system.