The United Arab Emirates is due to commission the Arab world’s first nuclear power station in 2018. The Barakah plant’s four reactors are expected to supply up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity needs by 2020.
As reported by E&T news in October last year, Saudi Arabia intends to begin the first reactor casing pouring in 2018 on two power plants with a capacity up to 2.8GW.
The conservative Gulf Kingdom, which has a population of 32 million, is thought to hold 18 per cent of the world’s total crude oil reserves and has long been the world’s top exporter of oil. However, with the beginnings of an international shift away from fossil fuels, the country may benefit from diversifying its own electricity sector.
The United Arab Emirates’ move towards nuclear power has been a slow and steady one, dating back to 2011 when the UAE said it would be applying lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster in Japan when it planned its own nuclear programme.
A year later, in July 2012, the UAE gave the go-ahead for construction work to begin on the country’s first nuclear power plant.
The UAE is also set to be home to the largest single waste-to-energy plant on the planet, which could power 120,000 homes. The Dh2.5bn (£480m) plant will be built on two hectares of land in the Warsan area, a predominantly industrial neighbourhood which is already home to the Dubai Sewage and Treatment Plant and Al Aweer Power Station.
Construction will begin later in 2018. The plant is due to go online before Expo 2020, a major upcoming world fair which will be hosted on a site between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
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