Atkins has landed a deal to advise lenders working on the UAE's nuclear power programme.
Atkins an adviser for UAE reactors
Atkins has been appointed to serve as a technical adviser for lenders supporting construction of four nuclear reactors in the UAE, the first programme to develop nuclear power in the Arab world.
The UK engineering and design company will advise a combination of private lenders involved in the project, including export credit agencies and an array of commercial banks.
The four reactors are in the early stages of development by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec). In October, Enec applied to the UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation for an initial construction permit for the first two reactors in Braka.
The reactors will be developed by a South Korean consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation.
"We see this as a very exciting opportunity," said Richard Barrett, the regional managing director of Atkins, which has been involved in the UK's nuclear programme for 30 years. Mr Barrett declined to discuss any specifics of the UAE project.
Atkins will also pursue contracts in Saudi Arabia, which is also developing a nuclear energy programme. The kingdom reportedly hopes to build as many as 16 reactors.
"It's our understanding they are committed to providing some of the shortfall they envision in capacity through nuclear [power]," Mr Barrett said. "It looks like they will have a well-funded programme."
* Kevin Brass