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Tue 9 Mar 2010 07:32 AM

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UAE power demand seen tripling by 2020 - minister

UAE's foreign minister says nuclear energy will play key role in meeting demand.

UAE power demand seen tripling by 2020 - minister

Electricity demand is likely to triple in the UAE by 2020 and nuclear energy will play a key role in meeting future needs, a top official has said.UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the country's interest in developing nuclear energy was "motivated by the need to develop additional sources of electricity to meet future demand projections and to ensure the continued rapid development of its economy".

"Analysis conducted by official UAE entities has concluded that national annual peak demand for electricity is likely to triple by 2020, reflecting a cumulative annual growth rate of roughly 9 percent," he said in comments published by news agency WAM.

He added: "In evaluating different options to meet this demand, nuclear energy emerged as a proven, environmentally promising and commercially competitive option which could make a significant contribution to the UAE's economy and future energy security."

Sheikh Abdullah's comments came at the International Conference on Access to Civil Nuclear Energy in Paris in an address that was read on his behalf by Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

He hailed the deal struck in December 2009 with a Korean consortium to build four nuclear power reactors in the UAE, with the first scheduled to be operational in 2017.

"International cooperation in the development of peaceful nuclear energy is a key element. It is a key to facilitate transfer of technology and an essential tool to ensure that such expansion in the use of nuclear energy is pursued in a responsible manner," he added.

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