Share

Time to target Middle East nuclear contracts

Now is the time for firms to target nuclear contracts

Share
Presidents: HH Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan (C), meets his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy.
Presidents: HH Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan (C), meets his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy.

Now is the time for firms to target nuclear contracts

The UAE has its cards on the table. It wants nuclear power. Some would say it needs it. Consistent increases in annual power consumption mean that securing a nuclear supply could be an essential step in energising future economic development.

Industry would be one of the first areas to benefit, not just from the readily available power, but from the massive contracts involved in building and maintaining a fleet of nuclear reactors.

Thanks to years of being the least popular global energy choice, since burning whale fat went out of fashion, there are relatively few companies around the globe that are able to build the essential core components, in some cases the number is as low as one or two.

However, like any other industrial complex, there are requirements for cement, steel, pipes, valves and cables, all of which will need to be supplied to strict nuclear safety standards. For companies working in the regional market it is time to decide if they want to be involved in the multi-billion dollar local nuclear industry.

If the answer is yes, then pre-qualification and achievement of stringent standards needs to start happening now.

There are no shortcuts to be made in the world of nuclear power generation and safety standards are high.

While some of the big ticket items are out of reach to all but a few giant multi-nationals, there are scores of companies in the US, Europe and Asia with direct, hands-on experience of working in the nuclear industry.

Competing with them will be tough, working with them might not be. Exploring the potential for partnerships could prove an effective way to get a foothold.

The nuclear industry is a top down affair; presidents do the gripping and grinning that gets the trade deals fired up. President Obama has recently signed off on a deal to sell nuclear supplies and fuel to the UAE, a proposal that is now before the US Congress.

A few days later his French counterpart was in Abu Dhabi, making sure he wasn’t forgotten. Both have a nuclear industrial base that would enjoy the chance to be part of regional power plans.

Contract signings may be a few years away yet, but positioning starts now.

Newsletter

Most Popular