Saudi Arabia invites South Korea for Neom, Qiddiya, first nuclear plant
Crown Prince HRH Mohammed Bin Salman lauds role of Korean companies such as Hyundai Heavy Industries in Saudi projects
South Korean engineering and construction companies are among those that have been invited by a delegation led by Saudi Arabia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to participate in Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear energy project, as well as the Neom, Qiddiya, and Red Sea Project gigaprojects that are currently under development in the kingdom.
The Crown Prince’s invitation was extended during his official visit to South Korea on 26-27 June, when he met President Moon Jae-in in Seoul.
Both sides expressed an interest in cooperating on the expansion of peaceful nuclear energy, and Saudi Arabia said it welcomed the participation of Korean companies in the bid for the kingdom’s first nuclear commercial energy generation station.
Saudi Arabian and South Korean officials also agreed to increase efforts for mutual investment that would benefit both countries, as well as to collaborate and ensure the success of Saudi Arabia’s Neom, Qiddiya, and Red Sea Projects.
The Saudi Arabian Crown Prince “lauded the increase in number of Korean investments and companies” in the kingdom, according to state news outlet, SPA.
Korean companies’ contribution to Vision 2030 projects – such as the work of Hyundai Heavy Industries at King Salman Global Complex for Maritime Industries and Services in Ras Al Khair, and Korean Electricity for Energy’s projects in the kingdom – were also noted by the Crown Prince.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and President Moon Jae-in both also commended the expansion of a project by S-Oil company – South Korea’s third-largest refiner in which Saudi Aramco’s Aramco Overseas Co is a major shareholder since its initial investment in 1991.
Both leaders also attended the inauguration of S-Oil’s new residue upgrading and olefin downstream complex, which SPA reported was a $4.2bn expansion to S-Oil’s existing development.
The Crown Prince’s visit saw a number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed between both countries, including one to ensure cooperation in the automotive sector.
An agreement for an executive programme in the robot industry, an MoU for information and communication technology (ICT), and an MoU in the field of hydrogen were also signed.
The inauguration also included the signing of an MoU for Saudi Aramco and S-Oil to collaborate on a $6bn steam cracker and olefin downstream project, which is due for completion by 2024, according to Construction Week's sister title Refining and Petrochemicals Middle East.
In total, 14 MoUs pertaining to ICT, e-government and automobiles, hydrogen, medical insurance, culture, intellectual property rights, military purchase operations, think-tank cooperation, financial institutions, tourism, and sports were signed between Saudi Arabia and South Korea during the visit.
During the visit, President Moon Jae-in confirmed the support of the Korean government for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which is proceeding under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Both sides agreed on the existence of a joint interest between them to enhance Vision 2030 partnerships through the Saudi Korean Vision 2030 committee, and also agreed to expedite the pace of cooperation to achieve common goals through efforts such as the establishment of Seoul Riyadh Vision Achievement Office, SPA reported.