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Monday, September 14, 2009

UAE delays 41 bln dlr nuclear plants contract: report

http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidANA20090914T075134ZCFJ39

DUBAI, Sep 14, 2009 (AFP) - The UAE has delayed awarding a 41 billion dollar contract to build nuclear power plants saying that the decision between the three rival bidders was too close to call, an Abu Dhabi daily said Monday.

"What happened ultimately was some of the bids were so close in some areas, we decided to proceed with all three," a senior government official told The National. "It will mean a slightly longer period of negotiations."

The decision on the contract, which was due to be awarded this Wednesday, will not come out until the end of the month, the newspaper reported, citing an unidentified diplomat.

A French group led by Areva, Electricite de France, GDF Suez and Total is competing against a Japanese-American alliance of Hitachi and General Electric, and a Korean-American consortium comprising Korea Electric Power, Samsung, Hyundai and US firm Westinghouse.

The Arab world's second-largest economy, the United Arab Emirates is seeking to reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons for power generation and to boost its image as an environmentally friendly country.

US President Barack Obama approved a civilian nuclear deal with the UAE in May.

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