Emirates Nuclear Energy (ENEC) has awarded contracts worth $2.5bn to UAE companies for the construction of the country’s first nuclear energy plants.
This achievement further facilitates the development of a local nuclear energy industry supply chain and contributes directly to the growth of the UAE’s economy.
The contracts with local companies have been awarded over the past five years through collaboration between ENEC, the entity responsible for the construction and operation of the UAE’s first nuclear energy plants, and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), ENEC’s Prime Contractor. Some of the companies include Emirates Steel, National Cement, Dubai Cable Company (DUCAB), National Marine Dredging Company, Western Bainoona Group, and Hilalco.
"An important factor in the UAE’s decision to pursue a peaceful nuclear energy program was the opportunity to develop a new industrial sector to support the nation’s economic growth and diversification strategy and since its inception, ENEC has been working to support this vision," commented Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC’s Chief Executive Officer.
"The nuclear energy industry has some of the most stringent quality and technical standards in the world. Therefore, ENEC’s dedicated Industrial Development Team works alongside UAE companies to raise their standards to meet the unique requirements of the nuclear industry, allowing Emirati companies to not only contribute to the success of the ENEC program but to also gain a competitive advantage in providing nuclear-quality services and materials to the world."
Through its work with local companies, ENEC is not only supporting existing UAE businesses but also contributing to the development of the local economy while stimulating the growth of industry here in the UAE. International studies show that every dirham spent by an average nuclear energy plant results in the creation of 1.04 dirham in the local community and about 1.87 dirham in the nation’s economy*.
"We are already beginning to see the results of our contribution to the local economy. By working with UAE companies, ENEC and KEPCO have awarded over US$ 2.5 billion in local contracts in just the first few years of construction at Barakah. With 60 years of operations ahead for each of our units, there will be many more opportunities to come for Emirati businesses who are committed to instilling nuclear safety and quality standards across their organization," added Al Hammadi.
ENEC works with local companies to upgrade their processes and systems to become ASME Nuclear Component certified companies, the key certification required to become a nuclear-approved supplier. ENEC and KEPCO also hold regular Supplier Forums to ensure local companies are informed about upcoming opportunities and are educated on the steps required to register for the tendering process for the Barakah project.
Dr Ahmad Bin Hassan Al Shaikh, Chairman of Ducab, said: "As an Emirati company, it was our pleasure and honour to support and supply the cabling needs of the Barakah project. In order to deliver quality product of the highest standard, we custom designed the world’s first range of certified 60-year life span nuclear cables. This range is an example of the world-leading capabilities of the UAE’s manufacturing industry, and a testament to our commitment to supporting the UAE leadership’s vision for the future. For Ducab, this success represents our transition into a sustainable business, and we intend to leverage our position to secure similar contracts in other advanced countries, who are looking to nuclear energy to meet growing demand."
H.E. Saeed Ghumran Al Romaithi, CEO of Emirates Steel also commented: "We are proud to be the fourth manufacturer of nuclear quality rebar worldwide and the first in the GCC, awarded the Quality System Certificate (QSC) from ASME. We have worked together with ENEC for over 24 months to ensure our quality processes meet the highest standards in the world."
"Partnering with the leading nuclear energy operator in the GCC, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, is a significant milestone for Emirates Steel. It’s a privilege to be associated with such a big project, and we are aiming to maximize our supplies of nuclear quality reinforcing steel bars (rebars) to the Barakah plant to reach almost 180,000 to 200,000 metric tons till the year 2017," Al Romaithi added.
The UAE’s burgeoning nuclear energy industry is also having a positive impact on the quality and safety standards of other industries across the country – with many of ENEC’s suppliers of non-nuclear grade materials also supplying to other industries. In order to contract for the UAE peaceful nuclear energy program, ENEC’s Industrial Development Team works with companies to enhance their quality and safety policies and procedures to meet the highest standards in the world. This has clear benefits for companies across the UAE and will lead to improved quality and safety outcomes across the board.
Construction of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant (Barakah NPP) is now well underway in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, and continues to progress safely and steadily. As of July 2015, Unit 1 is more than 74% complete, and construction of Units 1-4 collectively is now more than 48% complete. The plant will eventually consist of four nuclear power generating units with a combined capacity of approximately 5,600 MW, and their associated facilities. Unit 1 is scheduled for completion in 2017, with additional units following at 12 monthly intervals, with the fourth unit set to commence commercial operations in 2020, pending regulatory reviews and licensing.