MENA nuclear plants plan stalled plagued by challenges, says APICORP

Posted on 24th August 2018

MENA nuclear plants plan stalled plagued by challenges, says APICORP
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According to *Tradearabia news report, the region is not fully equipped with the right knowledge and expertise to undertake full operation of nuclear plants - signified by delays in commissioning the Barakah nuclear plant in the UAE, said a new report from Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp).

Dependence on Russia to develop and, in certain instances, to support the financing of nuclear projects in the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) countries, leaves the region exposed to a single supplier. Huge capital costs are leading the likes of Jordan and Saudi Arabia to consider small-scale alternatives that are more costly to build per kilowatt of electricity (KWe).

Meanwhile, renewed sanctions on Iran will overall slow the momentum on nuclear energy deployment within Mena.

For countries in the GCC, nuclear power can free up more oil and gas for exports, while net-importing countries like Egypt and Jordan will be able to diversify their energy sources, enhance energy security and reduce their expensive import bills. Nuclear plants are expensive to build due to high upfront capital costs, but are cheaper to operate over their lifetime because fuel costs are lower and there is no requirement for carbon capture.

At present, 2.4 GW of nuclear power facilities in Mena are complete - of which only 1 GW is operational, 5.4 GW are under construction and a further 8 GW are planned by 2030.

By 2030, Mena is expected to have added 15.8 GW of nuclear capacity. Whilst this would represent less than five per cent of today’s total capacity, it would be a quantum leap from the 1 GW currently generated by Iran and more generally would represent a step change in the region’s energy mix.

*News source:

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