France, Kuwait agree nuclear development plan
Paris, April 16 |
Paris, April 16 (Reuters) - France and Kuwait agreed on Friday to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the latest Gulf Arab nation to eye nuclear power, and raising the prospect of lucrative contracts for French firms.
Kuwait, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, is facing rising energy demand and has experienced power cuts in the past, especially during the hot summer months when air conditioning use rises.
The agreements centre on developing nuclear energy to provide electricity and water desalination, the two countries said in a joint statement.
All six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, have shown interest in nuclear power to meet soaring domestic demand for electricity and to free more oil and gas for export. [ID:nLI703002]
Kuwait held talks with France's Areva CEPFi.PA this year, while France and Saudi Arabia have said they are close to finalising a civilian nuclear energy cooperation agreement.
In December, the UAE signed a $40 billion deal to build nuclear reactors with a consortium led by state-owned utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) (015760.KS), beating off competition from a French consortium comprising GDF Suez (GSZ.PA), EDF (EDF.PA), Total (TOTF.PA) and Areva. (Reporting by John Irish; editing by James Jukwey)
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