The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is planning to award a project for building two nuclear reactors in the later half of 2009, according to a senior executive at Total S.A (Total). GDF Suez and Total, jointly bidding for the project, are hoping to win the multi-billion dollar contract, Jean-Jacques Mosconi, head of strategy and planning at Total said to Reuters. Mosconi also mentioned that Total and GDF Suez will be sharing the 49% stake in the project.

The remaining 51% stake in the project will be of UAE’s national electricity company, said Mosconi.

Yes, we are hopeful about the decision. We know there’s competition but we think we have a good file to propose to Abu Dhabi because we have been there for decades in onshore and offshore business, he said.

They know we are good partners in managing projects, he said.

He declined to give further details on how the two French companies would split the 49% stake.

Areva would provide engineering works, while EDF, French Power Group, would supply technical assistance. Both Areva and EDF would have no stakes in the project, according to Mosconi.

When Total announced its bid at the start of 2008, industry sources said they expected the plant to start running in 2016.

UAE requires more nuclear energy to fulfill the sharply rising demand for power and desalinated water. With the increased electricity demands, around 40,0000 MW of more electricity will have to be generated which will strain their power grid.