Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Partners behind UAE’s nuclear plant to collaborate on new projects in other countries

The two entities to look at financing as well as operations of nuclear energy projects

Barakah nuclear power plant, which is expected to start producing electricity this year or early next. AFP
Barakah nuclear power plant, which is expected to start producing electricity this year or early next. AFP

Barakah One Company, a subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), signed an agreement with Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) to collaborate on new nuclear energy projects in other countries.

The pair have been working together on the Barakah Nuclear energy plant, which is nearing completion in Al Dhafhra, 53km south west of Ruwais in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

“We will collaborate to identify potential prospects to support the establishment of nuclear energy projects in other countries that will benefit from the unique knowledge and skills developed at Barakah through the development of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme,” said Nasser Al Nasseri, chief executive of Barakah One Company in a statement on Tuesday.

As part of the agreement, the two companies will look at a range of areas including investment and financing, licensing and safeguards, operations and maintenance as well as training and the exchange of scientific and technical expertise in the field of nuclear energy. The cooperation could also include nuclear fuel cycle management, localisation and development of nuclear energy infrastructure.

The new agreement expands on a previously-signed Charter for Joint Business Cooperation between Barakah One Company, the entity in charge of managing the commercial and financial aspects of the Barakah project, and Kepco, the statement added.

The UAE has developed capabilities for atomic power through the development of the Barakah nuclear power programme, which has tested and integrated three reactors to the grid so far. Construction of the $25 billion (Dh91bn) facility began in 2011, with electricity set to be generated late this year or early next. The UAE, which is the third-largest oil producer within Opec, aims to diversify its mix to generate 6 per cent of power from nuclear sources by 2050.

“Going forward, by sharing expertise and experience, leading to combining respective strength, we will now explore opportunities to successfully collaborate to support global nuclear energy projects,” Jong Kap Kim, chief executive and president of Kepco said.

Saudi Arabia is also planning to add atomic power capacity to generate electricity. The kingdom has looked at adding 17 Gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2040. It is looking to bring two reactors with a combined capacity of 3.2GW online within the next decade.

Updated: September 10, 2019 08:13 PM