The News Minute | December 23, 2014 | 7:25 am IST
The first of the four nuclear reactors being built by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be operational by 2017, CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Mohammed Al Hammadi, said on Monday.
He also said that the rest of the reactors would start to generate power by 2020.
"When they (the reactors) become fully operational in 2020, they will generate 25 percent of UAE's power needs," Al Hammadi said at the tenth Arab Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi.
He said that 61 percent of the first nuclear reactor has been completed and it is slated to start production in 2017.
Work is underway on the second and third reactors, while the site is being prepared for the fourth, he said. The second reactor will start power generation in 2018, the third the following year and the last in 2020.
Al Hammadi said that another five percent of UAE's electricity needs will be provided by renewable energy sources by 2020, helping the Gulf state cut 12 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
In 2009, an international consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) won a $20.4 billion (15.8 billion euro) deal to build four nuclear power plants in Baraka, west of Abu Dhabi.