The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced on 7 September the authorization of a $2bn direct loan to the UAE’s Barakah One Company to underwrite the export of American equipment and services for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the UAE. The bank said the transaction will finance the construction of the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian peninsula, which upon completion will number among the largest nuclear generating facilities in the world.

Barakah One, a subsidiary of UAE nuclear power operator Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), plans to build four 1.4gw capacity nuclear plants, bringing one into operation every year during 2017-20. They will be built on the Gulf coast some 220km west of Abu Dhabi city, and will be based on the state-of-the-art APR 1400 reactor design, developed by Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company installed the world’s first APR-1400 reactor in July 2010 at the Shin-Kori Unit 3 power plant. This plant, due to be completed in September 2013, is said by Kepco to be the reference power plant for the UAE nuclear project. ENEC recently awarded six contracts worth a combined $3bn to a consortium led by Kepco for the provision of enriched uranium fuel assemblies (MEES, 29 August). (CONTINUED - 607 WORDS)