The Barakah Nuclear Power Plant (Barakah NPP) Project is a project to build a four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. The Barakah NPP is United Arab Emirates' first nuclear power station. The would-be four APR-1400 nuclear reactor plant is expected to start supplying electricity between 2017 and 2020.
The assessment for qualification of bidders began on May 6, 2009, and after intense competition among the world’s most prominent nuclear vendors, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) awarded the $20 billion bid to build the first nuclear power plant in the UAE to a coalition led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) in December 2009. The group beat bids from a U.S.-Japanese group and a French firm. The deal was the first and largest single contract that South Korea had ever won abroad. Though it is the world's third largest oil exporter, the U.A.E. says only nuclear power can meet its energy demands.
KEPCO is the prime contractor leading the project. The winning consortium also includes Samsung, Hyundai and Doosan Heavy Industries, as well as U.S. firm Westinghouse and Japan's Toshiba.
Construction began in January 2010, following regulatory approval. The nuclear reactors should all be in operation by 2020, by which time demand for electricity in the UAE is expected to have more than doubled. In May 2013 construction started on the second unit, which is expected to take five years. The first safety-related concrete was poured for Unit 3 in September 2014. Unit 4 started construction in September 2015.
By winning the Barakah NPP project, Korea became the sixth country in the world to export a nuclear project. South Korea first introduced atomic power in 1978 and now has 20 nuclear reactors in operation. As of today, only there are 6 countries that export nuclear power plants. Given the scale and time consumed, the Barakah NPP project is considered a platform for a long-term partnership between the U.A.E. and Korea.