EDF and Nawah in pact to maintain Arab world’s first nuclear plant

Barakah nuclear energy plant is nearing completion. (Supplied)
Updated 23 November 2018

EDF and Nawah in pact to maintain Arab world’s first nuclear plant

  • The Barakah plant, which is currently preparing for operations of the first of its four 1400 MW units, will be the the first nuclear energy plant in the Arab World
  • The agreement means that EDF will provide Nawah with services in a number of areas including operational safety, radiation protection, fuel-cycle management and environmental monitoring

LONDON: EDF and Nawah Energy Company have signed a long-term service agreement for the UAE’s first nuclear power plant.
Nawah is a unit of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), the company that will operate and maintain the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant that is currently under construction in Abu Dhabi.
The Barakah plant, which is currently preparing for operations of the first of its four 1400 MW units, will be the the first nuclear energy plant in the Arab World.

 

The agreement means that EDF will provide Nawah with services in a number of areas including operational safety, radiation protection, fuel-cycle management and environmental monitoring.
“With this agreement, EDF will be strengthening its position in the UAE’s low-carbon energy sector, thereby reasserting the goal of its CAP 2030 strategy, which is to triple its business volumes outside of Europe by 2030,” said Dominique Miniere, EDF’s senior executive vice president in charge of nuclear and thermal power.
Construction of the Barakah plant began in July 2012 and the overall construction progress for the four units is now more than 90 percent, ENEC said in a statement. The first unit was completed earlier this year.

FASTFACTS

Construction of the Barakah plant began in July 2012 and the overall construction progress for the four units is now more than 90 percent.


Saudi energy giant to invest $3bn in Bangladesh’s power sector

Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi energy giant to invest $3bn in Bangladesh’s power sector

  • Experts say deal will usher in more economic and development opportunities for the country

DHAKA: Saudi Arabia’s energy giant, ACWA power, will set up an LNG-based 3,600 MW plant in Bangladesh after an agreement was signed in Dhaka on Thursday.

The MoU was signed by ACWA Chairman Mohammed Abunayyan and officials from the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), officials told Arab News on Monday.

According to the agreement, ACWA will invest $3 billion in Bangladesh’s energy development sector, of which $2.5 billion will be used to build the power plant while the rest will be spent on an LNG terminal to facilitate fuel supply to the plant. Under the deal, ACWA will also set up a 2 MW solar power plant.

In recent months, both countries have engaged in a series of discussions for investment opportunities in Bangladesh’s industry and energy sectors. 

During the Saudi-Bangladesh investment cooperation meeting in March this year, Dhaka proposed a $35 billion investment plan to a high-powered Saudi delegation led by Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, the Saudi commerce and investment minister, and Mohammed bin Mezyed Al-Tuwaijri, the Saudi economy and planning minister.

However, officials in Dhaka said that this was the first investment deal to be signed between the two countries.

“We have just inked the MoU for building the LNG-based power plant. Now, ACWA will conduct a feasibility study regarding the location of the plant, which is expected to be completed in the next six months,” Khaled Mahmood, chairman of BPDB, told Arab News.

He added that there are several locations in Moheshkhali, Chottogram and the Mongla port area for the proposed power plant.

“We need to find a suitable location where the drift of the river will be suitable for establishing the LNG plant and we need to also consider the suitability of establishing the transmission lines,” Mahmood said.

“It will be either a JV (Joint Venture) or an IPP (Independent Power Producer) mode of investment, which is yet to be determined. But, we are expecting that in next year the investment will start coming here,” Mahmood said.

BPDB expects to complete the set-up process of the power plant within 36 to 42 months.

“We are in close contact with ACWA and focusing on the successful completion of the project within the shortest possible time,” he said.

Abunayyan said that he was optimistic about the new investment deal.

“Bangladesh has been a model for the Muslim world in economic progress. This is our beginning, and our journey and our relationship will last for a long time,” Abunayyan told a gathering after the MoU signing ceremony.

Economists and experts in Bangladesh also welcomed the ACWA investment in the energy development sector.

“This sort of huge and long-term capital investment will create a lot of employment opportunities. On the other hand, it will facilitate other trade negotiations with the Middle Eastern countries, too,” Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, senior research fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), told Arab News.

She added that Bangladesh needs to weigh the pros and cons before finalizing such contracts so that the country can earn the “maximum benefits” from the investment.

“It will also expedite other big investments in Bangladesh from different countries,” she said.

Another energy economist, Dr. Asadujjaman, said that Bangladesh needs to exercise caution while conducting the feasibility study for such a huge investment.

“We need to address the environmental aspects, opportunity costs and other economic perspectives while working with this type of big investment. Considering the present situation, the country also needs to focus on producing more solar energy,” Dr. Asadujjaman told Arab News.