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Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi

ENEC, GE Hitachi sign MoU for future investment in SMR tech

ABU DHABI, December 4, 2023

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GE Hitachi) to identify opportunities for future investment in Small Modular Reactors.
 
The MoU is part of the new ENEC ADVANCE programme, which aims to expedite and centralise the UAE’s approach to deploying state-of-the-art nuclear technology and boosting value streams through the generation of clean electrons and molecules, strengthening opportunities for users to generate green premiums for their low-carbon end products, a WAM report said.
 
The MoU will enable teams from ENEC and GE Hitachi to assess potential opportunities to implement affordable, clean nuclear energy using GE Hitachi’s innovative BWRX-300 reactor plant design. This represents a move towards smaller, more flexible, and economically viable nuclear solutions, aligning with global trends in energy sustainability and decarbonisation. The MoU includes a potential framework as well for ENEC to lead a broader regional deployment of BWRX-300 SMRs in the Middle East and Africa.
 
ENEC ADVANCE programme
Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, ENEC’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “As part of the new ENEC ADVANCE programme, ENEC and GE Hitachi will work together to identify ways to advance the deployment of SMRs through this new MoU. It is a testament to our leading role in the future of clean energy in the region as we explore the integration of advanced nuclear technologies and the use of state-of-the-art SMRs around the world. 
 
“Our journey in developing the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the region's largest single-source clean electricity generator, has given us unparalleled expertise that encompasses the entire spectrum of nuclear energy. This extensive knowledge base positions ENEC and the UAE at the forefront of the regional and global clean energy transition."
 
The collaboration between ENEC and GE Hitachi helps advance the goals of the US-UAE Partnership for Advancing Clean Energy (PACE) initiative and provides a platform for deepening cooperation on the deployment of innovative carbon-free generation energy solutions. 
 
The MoU signing was attended by David Livingston, Senior Advisor Managing Director for Energy for the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
 
Nuclear power is critical
Scott Strazik, CEO, GE Vernova, said: “Nuclear power is critical to decarbonising the energy sector and achieving the net-zero carbon emission goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. We are honoured to advance our partnership with ENEC and proud to be the first corporate partner for Net Zero Nuclear, an initiative co-sponsored by ENEC and the World Nuclear Association, calling for collaboration to triple global nuclear capacity to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. We appreciate the leadership of the US-UAE Partnership for Advancing Clean Energy (PACE) initiative and the collaboration toward a swift and smooth energy transition.”
 
“The UAE is a key market for GE Vernova. This country is a regional pioneer in the overall energy transition journey and we much appreciate the partnership we have forged with ENEC. We believe this is a fantastic opportunity to develop the future talent of Emiratis in the SMR space,” said Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, President UAE, GE International Markets.
 
The two partners will explore potential BWRX-300 deployment in the UAE for electricity generation and non-traditional applications, including clean molecule generation, clean hydrogen production, and decarbonising energy-intensive sectors. They will also consider opportunities to collaborate on engineering, workforce, and supply chain development supporting projects within the UAE.
 
Most advanced nuclear energy installation
As a cornerstone of the global nuclear energy landscape, the Barakah Plant distinguishes itself with its four APR-1400 units, positioning it among the most advanced nuclear energy installations worldwide and a major contributor to the UAE’s progress towards achieving Net Zero by 2050. The expertise and clean electricity generated by the Barakah Plant are the driving forces behind innovation in transitioning to new clean solutions and RD. This includes the advancement of SMRs and next-generation reactors, which will be valuable for the generation of clean molecules such as clean steam and hydrogen.
 
The ENEC ADVANCE programme is focused on evaluating the latest technologies in the advanced, Small Modular Reactor and microreactor categories, which can generate clean electrons and molecules, such as steam, hydrogen and ammonia, as well as process heat for industrial processes. 
 
In doing so, ENEC, the UAE’s only mandated nuclear energy developer, will then work with national stakeholders to determine deployment pathways, and with international partners, including GE Hitachi, for both technology and project collaboration opportunities.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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