DUBAI - The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced the signing of its first commercial uranium fuel supply contract with Kazakhstan's National Atomic Company (NAC) Kazatomprom JSC for the UAE's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

The contract opens pathways for future collaboration between the two entities as it builds on ENEC's long-established diversified procurement strategy to ensure a secure and sustainable supply of nuclear fuel.

The signing took place during the official visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to the UAE, during which the delegation of Kazatomprom participated in COP28.

Within the 'Year of Sustainability' in the UAE, ENEC's global partnerships will support the continued rapid decarbonisation of the country's heavy and energy-intensive industries, creating further clean energy sources while using the latest technologies and helping to deliver Net Zero by 2050. ENEC is increasingly forming international partnerships to advance the role of nuclear energy globally to support greater energy security and sustainable development.

This is a strategically important agreement given that Kazakhstan is the world's largest producer of uranium, holding approximately 12 percent of the world's recoverable uranium resources and producing 40% of the world's uranium supplies, mining 42% of the world's uranium in 2022.

Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "ENEC has a comprehensive strategy for fuel management at Barakah, signing contracts back in 2012 with a number of global suppliers to ensure a sustainable and secure fuel supply.

He added that signing this agreement with Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan, the largest uranium producer globally, is strategically important for ENEC to further diversify and secure fuel supplies. With a significant positive shift in many nations to include civil nuclear energy as part of their energy mix, the security of supply for fuel is paramount.

"Adding Kazamtomprom boosts our roster of fuel partners further, ensuring a sustainable fuel supply for the generation of clean, 24/7 electricity, and our plans for the generation of clean heat, steam and clean molecules like hydrogen to decarbonise energy-intensive and heavy industry in the UAE and oversees," Al Hammadi noted.

Meirzhan Yussupov, Chief Executive Officer of NAC Kazatomprom, commented, "We are excited to add the UAE to the nations to whom we supply and appreciate the recognition of Kazatomprom with its exceptional supply track record and sustainable market reputation as a part of the UAE's energy security and net-zero agenda. We hope our partnership will only strengthen in the future, resulting in new contracts for the reliable supplies of natural uranium for the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant".

Uranium fuel is used as part of the fission process, where uranium atoms are split to release significant heat. This heat generates steam that drives turbines connected to generators, ultimately producing clean, carbon-emissions-free electricity. ENEC's uranium procurement strategy includes long-term contracts with several suppliers from different countries to mitigate geopolitical risks and ensure competitive pricing.

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, a pivotal player in the international nuclear energy sector, boasts four APR-1400 units, marking it as one of the largest nuclear energy facilities globally. The Plant is instrumental in the UAE's journey towards clean energy and its ambitious goal of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2025. The Plant is the largest source of clean electricity in the region, spearheading decarbonisation in the UAE.