UAE - S.KOREA COOPERATION
WNN - The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) and its joint venture subsidiaries, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) and Barakah One Company (BOC), have signed three agreements with Korean companies. Enec and Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) in October 2016 signed a joint venture agreement that made Kepco a minority shareholder in Nawah and BOC.
Kepco is building four APR-1400s at Barakah, in the Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi. All four units are scheduled for completion by 2020.
On 26 March, Enec and Kepco Nuclear Fuel signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the field of nuclear fuel and in overseas business development; Nawah and Kepco Engineering and Construction signed an engineering support contract for the Barakah nuclear power plant to 2030; and Kepco agreed a charter for joint business cooperation with BOC to enhance cooperation throughout the nuclear business cycle, from planning and construction to operation.
"The two joint venture partners and their subsidiary companies continue to establish new ways for cooperation, forming a unique international partnership for the nuclear energy industry," Enec said on 4 April.
Kepco said in a separate statement that it will be able to enhance the competitiveness of its APR-1400 reactor design "by leveraging the UAE's abundant financial resources in the overseas nuclear power plant market".
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on 26 March attended a ceremony to celebrate the completion of construction at the United Arab Emirates' first nuclear power reactor.
The first phase of pre-operational tests have been completed at Barakah 1. The next phases of pre-operational tests require fuel to be loaded in the reactor and can only begin after Nawah receives an operating licence.
Unit 2 is now more than 92% complete, with unit 3 more than 81% complete and unit 4 more than 67% complete.
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IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.