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ENEC announces nuclear procurement process

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation to power up four plants in the UAE

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UAE is to begin its nuclear fuel procurement process. (Getty Images)
UAE is to begin its nuclear fuel procurement process. (Getty Images)

ENEC, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, has announced that it has begun a nuclear fuel procurement competition for the supply of fuel for its four proposed energy plants.

The supply is to cover the first 15 years in operation for the plants, and while the corporation has yet to put a value to the fuel, it has said the cost would be ‘substantial’.

The procurement process will provide ENEC with a set of contracts that provides long-term security of supply, favourable pricing and commercial terms, and high-quality fuel. ENEC has said it expects to begin commercial negotiations later this year on proposals submitted by the leading companies in the international nuclear fuel cycle market, and the final contracts are expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2012.

The company is to contract for natural uranium concentrate, conversion services (in which uranium concentrate is converted to material ready for enrichment), and enrichment services (in which the converted material is enriched to a level that is used in the fuel for nuclear energy plants.)

The enriched uranium will be supplied to KEPCO Nuclear Fuels, which will then manufacture the fuel assemblies for use in the UAE plants.
“This nuclear fuel procurement process is an important undertaking for ENEC as we continue our work to provide safe, clean, reliable and efficient energy to power the future growth of the United Arab Emirates,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC’s Chief Executive Officer. “This procurement process has been designed to provide optimal security of supply and high quality fuel for ENEC, and will share the same standard of excellence and transparency as the international competition that led to the selection of our Prime Contractor.”
The Construction License Application for the first two proposed units is now under review by the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation. Pending regulatory approval, the first plant is scheduled to begin delivering electricity to the grid in 2017. The following plants are scheduled to come on line in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
 

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