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The Arab Emirates show interest in investing in the European nuclear sector

As part of its approach, the UAE has discussed the possibility of its state-owned Emirates Nuclear Energy Company ( ENEC ) investing in European energy assets, including British ones, to become a minority owner.

According to Reuters sources, ENEC aspires to expand its area of ​​operations, becoming an international nuclear energy company that owns minority stakes in other countries.

ENEC’s objective is to obtain a minority stake, without aspirations to manage or operate the infrastructure. The move would help the oil-rich country diversify its economy away from fossil fuels.

ENEC aspires to become an international nuclear energy company with minority stakes in nuclear energy infrastructures in other countries, without managing or exploiting them.

ENEC has held discussions about such an investment in the UK. For Britain, an investment could bring relief to its giant Sizewell C nuclear project , which it says has managed to raise $25 billion in investment to date in an effort to complete it.

Sizewell C is a crucial part of the UK’s agenda for new nuclear energy, which is central to its plans to achieve a low-cost, clean and safe electricity system.

Possible nuclear projects

As part of its “international growth and investment plans, ENEC is working with a multitude of partners to explore opportunities for collaboration both in new civil nuclear projects and in civil nuclear technologies and related clean energy technologies, such as clean hydrogen,” ENEC stated. to Reuters.

Among the proposals, ENEC could also be a partner in the development of new nuclear energy infrastructure in European countries, given its relatively recent experience in building a facility.

ENEC oversaw the construction of the UAE’s only nuclear power plant, which was built in Abu Dhabi by Korea Electric Power Corp ( KEPCO ), and began commercial operations in 2021.

The UAE and Britain signed a so-called memorandum of understanding on civil nuclear cooperation in December at the UN climate summit in Dubai, where more than 20 countries agreed to a commitment to triple nuclear capacity by 2050.

Although several European countries want to expand their nuclear footprint to achieve their ambitious net-zero consumption goals, others are divided over whether nuclear power should be considered green energy.

While Britain appears to need investors for Sizewell C, Emirati state investments have recently raised concerns with the British government, which has blocked a state-linked takeover of the prominent conservative newspaper The Telegraph.

The British government also determined that a recent investment by the telecommunications company E&, linked to the Emirati state, posed national security problems, although it approved the operation.

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