DUBAI - The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Westinghouse, an international leader in designing, developing and deploying commercial nuclear energy facilities, have together signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the eVinci microreactor as a key solution for tackling the dual challenges of energy security and climate change.
The MoU signing took place at COP28 between Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, and Patrick Fragman, President and CEO of Westinghouse, as world leaders gather in the UAE for a global stocktake on the next round of urgent climate action under the Paris Agreement.
The MoU follows on from the recent announcement of ENEC’s ADVANCE programme, which brings together ENEC’s unique expertise in large-scale nuclear energy deployment with its network of international technology suppliers, including Westinghouse, to drive decarbonisation of energy-intensive and heavy industry.
ENEC’s teams leading the programme will evaluate the latest technologies in the advanced, Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and microreactor categories, which can generate clean electrons and molecules, such as steam, hydrogen and ammonia, as well as process heat for industrial processes.
They will then determine deployment pathways, in the UAE and overseas, with international partners for both technology and project. This approach aims to further strengthen the UAE’s position as a leading nation in accelerating the global clean energy transition to achieve Net Zero.
ENEC, as the leader of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme, has successfully developed the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced nuclear plants. Barakah is the largest source of clean electricity in the region, spearheading the decarbonisation of heavy industries and energy-intensive sectors for the next sixty years ahead. ENEC is now focused on strategic investments, R&D and innovation to meet the rapidly growing demand for clean electrons and molecules.
Westinghouse has created the eVinci microreactor which can generate a range of power levels from several kilowatts to 5 megawatts of electricity, and is suitable for a variety of applications, including electricity and heating for remote communities, universities, mining operations, industrial centres, data centres, and defence facilities. The technology is 100 percent factory built and assembled before it is shipped in a container to any location.
Under the new MoU, ENEC and Westinghouse will analyse the potential opportunities for technical and commercial deployment of the eVinci microreactor both in the UAE and overseas.
Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Over the past fifteen years, we have gained tremendous amounts of knowledge, expertise and technological capabilities, from the development of the Barakah Plant. Today Barakah is contributing close to 19 percent of the UAE’s electricity, which will increase to 25 percent once the fourth unit is commercially operating. The Plant is powering high-tech industries, completely carbon emissions-free and is also a catalyst for innovation in areas like clean molecules, clean hydrogen and Small Modular Reactors. Our latest collaboration with Westinghouse takes this vision of rapid decarbonisation a step further, enabling us to assess the positive potential impact of eVinci microreactors, to accelerate global clean energy transitions. Now more than ever we need fast action and reliable solutions to guarantee energy security, whilst sustainably powering our homes, businesses, cities and hard-to-abate sectors.”
“We are very excited to be partnering with ENEC once again, and with this game-changing technology that can be truly transformative to the UAE,” said Patrick Fragman, President and CEO of Westinghouse. “Our eVinci microreactor is an innovative nuclear battery that can deliver decarbonisation and secure energy exactly where it is needed for a wide range of customers and applications.”
This MoU between ENEC and Westinghouse will bolster joint efforts by facilitating the exploration of new technology that could bring significant benefits to the UAE and other nations. The agreement will involve the potential use of ENEC project delivery know-how and experience as well as the inclusion of nuclear-graded UAE companies as suppliers within the nation. The Barakah Plant is one of the most cost and time-efficient new nuclear builds in recent history and is widely recognised as a global benchmark for the industry.