ENEC and X-energy Partner to Explore Deployment of Advanced Nuclear Energy Technology

  • ENEC and X-energy to assess viability of X-energy’s nuclear technology for the UAE market, and explore development partnerships in the UK and Europe, and a regional deployment framework for the Middle East, Africa, and Indian subcontinent
  • Partnership to explore ’Green molecule’ production, including hydrogen, and application for energy intensive and hard-to-abate sectors

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 11 December 2023: The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with X-energy, a leading American developer of advanced small modular nuclear reactors and fuel design engineering company, to collaborate on the advancement of nuclear energy technologies. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at COP28 and comes in line with ENEC’s recently announced ADVANCE Program.

The MoU was signed By His Excellency Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC and J. Clay Sell, Chief Executive Officer, X-energy.
The central aim of ENEC’s ADVANCE program is to harness the latest advancements in nuclear energy technologies and to strengthen the UAE’s position as a leading nation in delivering climate action by accelerating the global clean energy transition to Net Zero.

ENEC and X-energy will work together to assess technical design and commercial viability of X-energy’s nuclear technologies for the UAE market, to meet the growing demand for clean electricity generation, along with generating steam, heat and hydrogen to decarbonize industries from manufacturing to petrochemicals as well as other energy-intensive sectors like data centers. The companies will also evaluate potential project partnerships for developments in the UK and Europe and will develop a regional deployment framework for ENEC-led projects in the Middle East, Africa, and Indian subcontinent.

At COP28, ENEC is showcasing how nuclear energy through the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is leading the largest decarbonization effort in the UAE’s history. Barakah is the largest single source of clean electricity in the Arab World, with the 4th and final unit of the plant due to come on-line in 2024. Now ENEC is utilizing its unique experience of deploying one of the most advanced large-scale nuclear plants to identify opportunities to deploy and invest in advanced and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

X-energy is a leading developer of advanced SMRs and fuel technology for clean energy generation. X-energy is advancing nuclear energy generation through its latest-generation high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (“HTGR”), the Xe-100, and its proprietary tri-structural isotropic (“TRISO”) encapsulated particle fuel, TRISO-X, to deliver reliable, zero-carbon and affordable clean electricity to people around the world. ENEC will work with X-energy to capitalize on the full value of the UAE’s investment in the nuclear energy sector, working closely to identify the right technology and meet the growing demand for clean electricity and molecules.

H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC said:

“Nuclear energy has had a transformational impact on the UAE’s energy landscape. The clean electricity generated from Barakah is powering high tech industries whilst preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions each year. At COP 28 we are demonstrating the essential value of nuclear and building our network through signing a series of global agreements as part of ENEC ADVANCE Program. We look forward to working with X-energy to combine its knowledge and technology in SMRs with our experience in the development of major nuclear energy projects, to accelerate rapid decarbonization and take us closer to Net Zero by 2050.”

“X-energy is pleased to partner with ENEC to explore the vast and growing opportunities for our advanced nuclear technology in the UAE and beyond,” said J. Clay Sell. “Around the world, ENEC is recognized as one of the most successful and capable nuclear project developers and operators. Our partnership will explore the many ways we can combine X-energy’s leading technology with ENEC’s delivery expertise to address a broad range of decarbonization challenges in the region and around the world. This announcement at COP 28 further demonstrates the incredible global opportunities and demand for nuclear in being a key driver in the expansion of clean, reliable energy.”

The agreement also helps advance the U.S.-UAE Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE), which was launched in November 2022 and aims to help catalyze $100 billion in clean energy and decarbonization projects by 2035.

The ENEC ADVANCE Program offers a clear example of the action-oriented approach the UAE is taking to fast-track the clean energy transition through leveraging the latest technologies in the nuclear energy sector. Advanced reactors and SMRs offer an innovative decarbonization solution for a wide range of energy intensive sectors. These reactors can be co-located with critical infrastructure and provide a reliable supply of clean electricity, as well as clean steam, heat and hydrogen. SMRs are easier to manufacture, thereby contributing greater economies of scale, in addition to being flexible, safe and efficient to deploy.