Business Council Leads Energy Delegation to Saudi Arabia

The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC), in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, organized a delegation of senior business executives from 20 leading U.S. renewable energy companies to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 10-13, 2012. Mr. Lionel Johnson, Vice President, Turkey, Middle East and North Africa Affairs for the U.S. Chamber, and Mr. Edward Burton, President and Managing Director of the USSABC, led the delegation. SunPower Corporation and Exelon Generation Company, two of the mission delegates, served as chairs for the nuclear and solar companies, respectively. Additionally, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) was a supporting partner of the mission.

The 20 companies in the delegation, eight of which were Business Council members, represented one of the largest delegations of private U.S. solar and nuclear companies to the Kingdom. Top engineering, procurement, consulting, and contracting companies, as well as research and development organizations joined the mission, demonstrating a strong commitment to the Saudi market and interest in offering top notch technologies, know-how, and services to help the Kingdom meet its rising energy demand.

“With our first business delegation trip to the Saudi market, the U.S. Chamber is pleased to introduce U.S. companies to important emerging industries in the Kingdom, like clean energy, that offer strategic and economic opportunity,” said Mr. Johnson “This delegation trip will help position U.S. businesses to support the advancement and deployment of new technologies in Saudi Arabia and further bilateral commercial relations.”

 “The Business Council is pleased to collaborate with the Chamber to give U.S. companies an opportunity to showcase their advanced technologies and manufacturing capabilities in the renewable energy industry,” said Mr. Burton. “There is a strong correlation between the products and services offered by U.S. companies and the needs of the Saudi market.”

The delegation’s objective was to deepen the bilateral commercial relationship in the Saudi renewable energy sector at a time when the Kingdom is actively seeking to diversify its energy portfolio. Furthermore, mission delegates sought to better understand the Saudi energy environment and the government’s long-term vision to develop a robust alternative energy industry to meet rapidly growing power and water demand. In May 2012, Saudi Arabia announced that it would invest $109 billion to build 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy by 2032 to meet one-third of its power demand. The Kingdom is also formulating a nuclear development strategy and has announced plans to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030.

The program of the mission included meetings with senior-level Saudi Government officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Water and Electricity. Delegates also met with representatives from King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saline Water Conversion Corporation, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, and Saudi Electricity Company, as well as business leaders involved in the renewable energy sector.

Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy, Chairman of the Jeraisy Group and USSABC Board Member, hosted the delegates for a luncheon attended by senior corporate executives representing Saudi members of the Business Council. The delegates also met with leaders of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and attended a networking reception hosted by Squire Sanders, where they met with Saudi members of the Saudi Arabia Solar Industries Association.

In addition, U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James B. Smith and embassy officials briefed participants on U.S.-Saudi bilateral relations and critical conventional and renewable infrastructure projects, as well as hosted a reception to provide additional networking opportunities with senior-level government officials and business executives active in the energy industry.  

The program also included a panel discussion on public-private sector cooperation in the renewable energy sector, sponsored by Crowell & Moring and moderated by the NEI. Panelists included representatives from the Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, the Solar Energy Cluster Program, and Crowell & Moring.  

The USSABC would like to thank the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NEI for the opportunity to collaborate in organizing this successful business development mission to Saudi Arabia. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interest of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. The Chamber promotes high-level economic and political relationships worldwide. For more information, please visit

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) is the policy organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industry and participates in both the national and global policymaking process.  NEI’s objective, on behalf of its more than 350 commercial nuclear companies in 17 countries, is to ensure the formation of policies that promote the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies in the U.S. and around the world. For more information, please visit

To view a list of mission delegates, please click here.


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