UAE signs nuclear energy deals with three Chinese companies

Agreements will bolster the Emirates' nuclear power operations

ENEC has signed a series of agreements with China National Nuclear Corporation and its subsidiaries to support energy security, sustainability and innovation. Photo: ENEC
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The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation has signed three agreements with China National Nuclear Corporation and its subsidiaries during a visit to China.

An agreement with Nuclear Power Operations Research Institute will focus on possible collaboration between the two parties in nuclear energy operations and maintenance.

The deal signed with the China National Nuclear Corporation Overseas will focus on co-operation in the field of high temperature gas-cooled reactors.

The third agreement with the China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation will focus on possible collaboration in nuclear fuel supply and investment.

ENEC chief executive Mohamed Al Hammadi met senior officials from the organisations, who presented their business plans to discuss opportunities for future collaboration.

During the visit, Mr Al Hammadi, who became President of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) in October 2022, met senior staff of the WANO Shanghai branch office to meet the teams there and receive updates on their latest activities.

Unit 3 of Abu Dhabi's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant began commercial operations in February.

It was the third unit to be delivered in three consecutive years, generating up to 4,200 megawatts of clean electricity capacity to the grid.

Barakah is the Arab world’s first nuclear power station and, once fully operational, will supply about 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity needs.

Only one of the four planned units has yet to start operations.

China has 56 nuclear energy plants in operation, with a further 20 units under construction.

It recently announced a programme to invest $440 billion to build a further 150 reactors over the next 15 years to boost their energy security and energy sustainability.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of the Cop28 summit, visited China last month and said it provides a strong model for how a country can continue to grow while simultaneously tackling the green energy transition.

“Given the size of China’s economy and the scale of its development of renewable energy and decarbonisation technology, China provides a good model for sustainable economic growth and the global energy transition,” said Dr Al Jaber, who is also the UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.

“Over the past five years alone, China has been responsible for adding more than 40 per cent of the world’s new solar and wind power capacity and has set a very ambitious target of deploying 1,200 gigawatts of renewable capacity by the end of this decade.”

Updated: May 07, 2023, 3:58 PM