Yemen seeks French help to build nuclear plant

May 9th, 2008 - 4:04 pm ICT by admin  

Sanaa (Yemen), May 9 (DPA) A Yemeni minister began negotiations with France’s state-owned nuclear power producer Electricity de France on plans to build a nuclear power generation plant in the Arab state, the official Saba news agency reported. The agency said Electricity and Energy Minister Mustafa Bahran held talks Thursday with officials from the company on “Yemen’s attitudes towards using nuclear power to generate electricity”.

The talks touched on “steps for initiating an active cooperation between the two countries in nuclear power generation”, Saba said.

It said French nuclear experts would visit Yemen “in the next few weeks ahead of signing a cooperation agreement in this regard”.

In last October, the Yemeni government nullified an agreement with a US company for building five nuclear plants intended to help the country make up for the shortfall in electricity supplies.

The decision was taken after a newly established governmental anti-corruption commission asked the cabinet to cancel the agreement following a big fuss by opposition media that challenged the competency of a US firm, Powered Corporation, to carry out the project.

Yemen, an impoverished country located on the south-western tip of the Arabian peninsula, suffers from shortages in power production and its cities endure daily power outages.

The entire power production capacity of the country’s two main power plants is approximately 900 MW, which serves only about half of the population.

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