More than $3bn worth of contracts have now been award to Emirati companies participating in the UAE nuclear energy programme, the country’s first nuclear energy plant.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said more than 1,400 UAE-based companies have now been contracted for the delivery of products and services for the Barakah plant, currently under construction in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
The contracts have been awarded over the past six years through collaboration between ENEC, which is responsible for constructing and building the plant, and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), ENEC’s prime contractor.
To gain a contract under the programme, companies have to work with ENEC’s Industrial Development Team to enhance their quality and safety policies and procedures to become certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
ENEC, which is wholly owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, said this has also benefited other companies across the UAE, as many of its suppliers also supplied other industries. It said that the programme had contributed to the development of the wider economy and stimulated the growth of heavy industry in the UAE.
The four units of the Barakah project are now more than 65% complete, with the first due to become operational next year and all on line by 2020. The UAE’s nuclear energy programme will provide around 25% of the country’s electricity and cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 12m tons annually, according to ENEC.
ENEC chief executive officer Mohamed Al Hammadi said: “By working with ENEC’s dedicated Industrial Development Team to raise their standards and meet the unique requirements of the nuclear energy industry, Emirati companies are now contributing to the construction of the nuclear plant at Barakah and also gaining a competitive advantage in providing nuclear-quality services and materials worldwide.
“A major factor in the UAE’s decision to pursue a peaceful nuclear energy program was the opportunity to develop and enhance the nation’s budding industrial sector and provide a diverse range of opportunities for talented Emiratis.”