ENEC’s CEO: First UAE nuclear plant to start in 2017: official

ABU DHABI: The first of four nuclear reactors being built by the United Arab Emirates will come online in 2017 and the rest will be fully operational by 2020, CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC), Mohammed Al Hammadi, said Monday.

“When they become fully operational in 2020, they will generate 25 percent of UAE power needs,” Al Hammadi told the 10th Arab Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi taking place at Viceroy Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

He said that 61 percent of the first nuclear reactor has been completed and it is slated to start production in 2017.

Work is underway on the second and third reactors while the site is being prepared for the fourth, he said. The second reactor will come online in 2018, the third the following year and the last in 2020.

Al Hammadi said another five percent of UAE electricity needs will be provided by renewable energy sources by 2020, helping the Gulf state to cut 12 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

In 2009, an international consortium led by the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp won a US$20.4 billion (15.8 billion euro) deal to build four nuclear power plants in Baraka, west of Abu Dhabi.