The United Arab Emirates’ nuclear energy project has completed a $24.4bn financing for its first plant with most of the cash coming from state sources, the developers said on Thursday.
In 2009, Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco)-led consortium won a contract to build four 1,400 megawatt nuclear reactors that are being constructed at the Barakah plant to meet the UAE’s surging demand for electricity.
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) and Kepco jointly own the Barakah nuclear energy plant project.
The financing comprises direct loans of $19.6bn with $16.2bn from the Abu Dhabi government and another $2.5bn from the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim), a joint statement from the developers said.
It also includes equity commitments from Enec and Kepco totaling $4.7bn as well as a $250m loan provided by National Bank of Abu Dhabi, First Gulf Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered.
“With the creation of this financial framework, ENEC will be able to provide safe, reliable electricity to the UAE grid through a commercially viable and cost-competitive program,” Khaldoon Khalifa al Mubarak, chairman of Enec said.
The Barakah plant is scheduled for completion in 2020, with construction having started in 2012. With four reactors online, the facility will deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs and save up to 12 million tonnes in carbon emissions every year.
Overall, construction of Units 1 to 4 is now over 71 percent complete.