The first shipment of locally made nuclear-grade reinforcement steel has arrived at Abu Dhabi’s under-construction reactor.
Emirates Steel is the only company throughout the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region qualified to supply the nuclear grade steel, known as Q-class. The company has delivered 5,000 tonnes of Q-class steel to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) construction site in Barakah, in the western region of Abu Dhabi.
Before this, Abu Dhabi imported the steel from South Korea because no local manufacturers met the strict qualification criteria.
More orders are expected over the next seven years as Enec’s four nuclear energy plants are built.
“Emirates Steel has made a significant effort to match their quality infrastructure with the highest standards and we are pleased to be working with them,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, the chief executive of Enec.
For the past two years Enec’s industrial development team has been working to upgrade the quality and technical standards of UAE companies to enable them to tender for contracts within the nuclear energy programme.
“It took us more than two years to make the [safety] grade and to implement a nuclear quality system that would allow us to manufacture and supply nuclear quality products to the UAE peaceful nuclear energy programme,” said Saeed Ghumran Al Romaithi, the chief executive of Emirates Steel. “This system was only developed to supply products to nuclear projects and can only be activated for nuclear orders.”
Nuclear-grade steel is the highest quality of steel required for nuclear-related construction. The steel plays an important role in the safety and security of nuclear facilities.
“Public safety in nuclear power generation is the main concern of every operator and this is one reason why Emirates Steel adheres to every nuclear energy standard in product, safety, testing, inspections and control of measurement devices. We are confident that our products conform to established safety standards,” Mr Al Romaithi said.
More than 200 UAE companies are now supplying products and services to Enec’s nuclear programme, with more than US$1 billion in contracts awarded to local companies to date.
Emirates Steel is the only integrated steel producer in the UAE and one of the largest in the GCC.