Nuclear power project in UAE receives $2 billion boost from Ex-Im Bank

The Board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) on Sept. 7 authorized a $2 billion direct loan to the Barakah One Company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to underwrite the export of American equipment and service-expertise for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE. The transaction will finance the construction of the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian Peninsula.

Barakah One Company, a subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. (ENEC), plans to erect four nuclear power units. The reactors, supplied by the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) and based on the APR 1400 design, will come online at one-year intervals beginning 2017 and will have a total capacity of 5,600 MW.

"This is a very important milestone to meet our objective of announcing a financial agreement in the near term," said Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief executive officer of ENEC.

Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based group company of Toshiba Corp., is the largest exporter involved in the transaction and will provide the reactor coolant pumps, reactor components, controls, engineering services, and training.

According to estimates derived from U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the line of credit will support approximately 5,000 American jobs across 17 states, the Ex-Im Bank said in a press release. The loan ranks as Ex-Im Bank's largest transaction in the UAE to date and counts as Ex-Im Bank's first greenfield nuclear-plant financing since the late 1990s.

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