Monday, September 24, 2007
yemen nuke power
Yemen signs deal to build nuclear power plants to generate electricity?By FAGR QASSIM ALIAssociated Press WriterSAN'A, Yemen (AP) _ The Yemeni government on Monday signed anagreement with a U.S. energy company to build nuclear power plantsover the next 10 years to generate electricity, official said.Yemen's plan to build plants to generate 5,000 megawatts of energyfollows similar announcements made by other Arab Gulf and Middle Eastcountries to develop peaceful nuclear energy programs."The energy issue is a very important issue, and it is the main forcethat drives our developments," said Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujurat a ceremony after the signing of the agreement with Houston-basedPowered Corporation.Yemen, one of the poorest countries in Arab world, is looking to buildnuclear plants to generate electricity and to desalinate sea water inorder to meet the needs of its urban population and boost thecountry's industrial development, government officials said.The Gulf Arab country hopes to diversify and expand its energyresources due to declining oil production. Yemen produces 330,000barrels a day, down from 480,000 barrels few years ago."We are going for a build, own and operate model," said Mustafa YahiaBahran, Electricity and Energy Minister, referring to a plan that hasthe company that builds the plants also owning and operating them. Theprojects will abide by international regulations in compliance withguidelines set by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, officials said.Bahran said the project will also attract foreign investment and bringYemen closer to meeting the requirements needed for a full membershipin the Gulf Cooperation Council.The association of energy-rich Arab states in the Persian Gulfincludes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain,Qatar and Oman.The GCC as well as Jordan, Egypt and Turkey in recent months haveannounced that they were interested in developing peaceful nuclearprograms.Iran's progress in building its nuclear facilities has sparked a rushamong Arab countries to look at programs of their own, raising thepossibility of a dangerous proliferation of nuclear technology in thevolatile region.The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclearweapons. Iran denies the claims and says its program is for peacefulpurposes including developing electricity.