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UAE invites bids for nuclear power plan

Dubai, August 16, 2008

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has invited global firms to bid for a contract to manage the Gulf oil producer’s nuclear power programme, said a report.

The UAE, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, has said it planned to look into developing nuclear energy to satisfy rising electricity demand as its economy booms on record oil export revenues, straining its power grid, said a report from Middle East Economic Digest (Meed).

Enec would except bids for a nuclear power project from global firms until September 7 and is likely to award the contract by the end of the year, London-based weekly, which is published late on Friday, reported. It did not give a source.

Prospective bidders include US construction companies such as Bechtel Corp and Australia’s WorleyParsons Limited, Meed said.

The UAE has promised to draw up laws to govern the sector and establish a nuclear regulatory authority and an international advisory board of nuclear experts.

This year, the UAE signed deals with the US and Britain about co-operating in peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The US is at loggerheads with Iran, just across the Gulf from the UAE, over its nuclear programme and fears that it is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful power generation. US-based Thorium Power, which provides advisory services for emerging nuclear programmes, said on Thursday it was advising the UAE on setting up an independent nuclear regulatory agency, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.

The UAE needs 22,000 megawatts of additional electricity capacity over the next seven years to meet demand, Meed said.-Reuters




Tags: UAE | Bid | nuclear plan | Enec |

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