|17 September, 2019

Bahrain reviews nuclear energy plans as project receives bid

The Arabian kingdom had plans to start nuclear power stations by 2017. But the plans were delayed mostly due to high costs.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Palmtrees along King Faisal Highway in Bahrain. Showing the new developments. On the right the world trade center under a clear blue sky.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Palmtrees along King Faisal Highway in Bahrain. Showing the new developments. On the right the world trade center under a clear blue sky.

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Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) has received a single bid from French utility company EDF, for assessing the kingdom’s nuclear energy programme.

The state-owned company, if chosen, will provide technical support to develop the Nuclear Energy Policy and roadmap for Bahrain, according to Bahrain Tender Board.

The Arabian kingdom had plans to start nuclear power stations by 2017. But the plans were delayed mostly due to high costs.

“It will be some time before we can adopt nuclear sources here in Bahrain as experts have to be brought in, designs prepared and facilities built, but our plan is to have it by 2017," Electricity and Water Affairs Minister Fahmi Al Jowder had said.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman are currently pursuing nuclear energy ambitions in the Gulf. While Saudi Arabia is planning to build 16 nuclear reactors at an estimate cost of $80 billion to make up for 15 percent of its power needs by 2040, UAE’s Barakha Nuclear Energy plant costing $20 billion is expected to be commissioned by 2020.

Last week, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, and EDF had signed an agreement to establish a 50:50 joint venture energy services company (Esco).

The JV will expand into non-utility scale renewables and energy-efficiency investments, such as building energy efficiency, solar technology below 50 megawatts (MW), among others, in the UAE, GCC and other emerging countries.

(Writing by Seban Scaria seban.scaria@refinitiv.com , editing by Anoop Menon)

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