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Monday, June 23, 2008

UAE invites bids for nuclear power plant: press

The United Arab Emirates has invited bidders for the construction of a nuclear power plant, which if built would be the first in an Arab country, a local daily said Monday.

Nine bidders are competing for the contract, Emirates Business said quoting unnamed sources.

Amec, a British-based engineering firm, told the daily that it was one of the nine companies short-listed to manage the nuclear power plant.

"We were asked to submit the initial document and we have done so. There are many more stages to go. We are expecting the contracts to be in place by the end of the year," Graham Bellwood, Amec's Middle East regional director, told the daily.

He said the tender is now in the pre-qualification stage.

In April, the UAE issued a white paper on potential plans to develop peaceful nuclear energy, stressing it would import nuclear fuel for any reactor it builds and not enrich uranium at home.

France signed a deal to help the UAE develop nuclear energy for peaceful ends during a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Abu Dhabi in January. An atomic energy cooperation agreement was signed with the United States in April.

Amid concerns over neighbouring Iran's nuclear aims and regional clout, the Arab countries of the Gulf decided in December 2006 to develop a joint nuclear technology programme for peaceful purposes.

(Source: AFP)

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