Assystem has recently been awarded a major contract by K.A.CARE, the Saudi Arabia authority in charge of the development of renewable energy and nuclear energy power. This new contract, won after an international call for tenders launched by K.A.CARE, is underlying the group’s business strategy, its ability to broaden internationally, particularly in the Middle East, and its nuclear engineering expertise.
The services included in the contract will be rendered over a period of eighteen months and involve site characterisation studies (geological and seismic analyses, etc.) as well as impact studies (environmental and demographic effects and the impact on electricity grids). The work to be carried out forms part of the project to build Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear power plants following the Saudi government’s announcement in July 2017 that it intends to add nuclear power to its energy mix with the objective of diversifying and boosting its power production capacity.
These characterisations and impact studies enable choice of the most suitable site on which to build the first Saudi Nuclear Power Plant. They will also provide important technical details for the purpose of designing the right nuclear power plant technology, based on site specifications.
The Group won this contract thanks to the synergies it can leverage between its long-standing expertise in the nuclear sector, its specific skills in site characterisation provided by its Turkey-based subsidiary, Assystem Envy, and its local knowledge obtained through its Saudi-based subsidiary, Assystem Radicon.
Meanwhile, Assystem has carved out a long-term position within the new-build project for civil nuclear reactors led by the Russian operator, Rosatom, in Turkey (four VVER reactors with a capacity of 4.8 GW), by capitalising on the characterisation studies performed by Envy for the Akkuyu site. It will also provide the same services to Rosatom for the start-up of a similar programme in Egypt.
Lastly, by steadily broadening the scope of its services, Assystem is continuing to grow the revenue it generates with ENEC, the operator of the nuclear reactors currently being built in the United Arab Emirates based on Korean technology. Assystem has set up this week a joint venture with Nama Development Enterprises, Sheikh Mohamed Al Nayan’s industrial holding company – to help cement its long-term positioning within the UAE’s nuclear industry by drawing on local skills as part of the Group’s work on the engineering and maintenance of the Emirati nuclear programme.
These business developments illustrate how Assystem is committed and able to help “new-entrant” countries in developing their nuclear programmes, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, and by extension, to partner major nuclear players in exporting their expertise beyond their own borders. They represent a further stride along our nuclear engineering growth trajectory, which is also being propelled in Europe by the services we offer for both new-builds and existing plants and for decommissioning operations.