ENEC awards UAE nuclear fuel contracts
Six companies to supply Barakah plant from 2017
The Emirates Nuclear Corporation (ENEC) has announced that it has awarded six contracts to supply the UAE’s nuclear programme with uranium fuel. ENEC says that the contracts, valued at US $3 billion, will ensure security of supply on competitive commercial terms to protect the UAE’s nuclear energy programme.
Enriched uranium is set to be supplied to KEPCO Nuclear Fuels (KNF), which will manufacture the fuel assemblies used in the four planned reactors at the Barakah site.
From 2014-2015, six companies will be involved in the ENEC supply programme. ConverDyn of the United States is set to provide conversion services; Canada’s Uranium One and the UK’s Rio Tinto will provide natural uranium; URENCO (UK) will undertake enrichment services, whilst Russia’s TENEX will provide uranium concentrates, conversion and enrichment services.
The contracts are set to run for a period of 15 years, beginning in 2017 when the first of the reactors is scheduled to be brought online.
“The completion of the fuel supply strategy is a key achievement to ENEC’s programme and a clear example of how the UAE continues to set the gold standard for implementing a peaceful nuclear energy programme. These contracts will provide ENEC with long-term security of supply, high quality fuel and favourable pricing and commercial terms. We are also pleased that this marks the start of long-term commercial relationships with companies that have earned excellent reputations in the industry,” said Mohammed Al Hammadi, ENEC Chief Executive.
The procurement programme has involved an extensive year-long process, with companies competing for various aspects of the fuel cycle as a way to ensure supply security and high quality fuel.
ENEC says that it expects to return to the market “at various times to take advantage of favourable market conditions and to strengthen its security of supply position”.
The Barakah project will see four 1,400 MW reactors built at the site, with the first unit scheduled to come online in 2017, and then yearly until 2020.