The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation announced that it has awarded contracts worth $2.5bn to local firms to construct the United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear power plant.
More than 1,100 local firms have been contracted for the delivery of products and services at the Barakah plant in the western region of Abu Dhabi, state news agency WAM reported.
All contracts have been awarded over the last five years through ENEC, the agency responsible for developing the UAE’s nuclear programme and the agency’s main contractor Korea Electric Power Cooperation.
Emirates Steel, National Cement, Dubai Cable Company, National Marine Dredging Company, Western Bainoona Group, and Hilalco are among the companies who have been awarded contracts to build the nuclear plant.
“International studies show that every dirham spent by an average nuclear energy plant results in the creation of Dhs 1.04 in the local community and about Dhs 1.87 in the nation’s economy,” ENEC said in a statement in WAM.
The UAE’s Barakah nuclear plant in Abu Dhabi has four generators with the work on unit 1 74 per cent complete. ENEC added that the work on all four units is more than 48 per cent done.
Upon completion, the Barakah plant will have a capacity to generate approximately 5,600 megawatts of power. Unit 1 of the plant is scheduled for completion in 2017 while the other units are set to follow at interval of 12 months. The final unit is scheduled to commence commercial operations in 2020, pending regulatory reviews and licensing.
The UAE’s nuclear programme will provide approximately 25 per cent of the country’s electricity needs, saving up to 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, ENEC said.
The country’s nuclear energy programme is expected to generate electricity at one-third the cost of traditional oil fired power plants.