The UAE government has made the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) an independent government agency and has given it sole responsibility for implementing the federation’s nuclear energy programme.

The president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, has said the corporation will no longer carry out decisions made by Abu Dhabi’s executive affairs committee. It will also get its own board of directors.

Khaldoon Khalifa al-Mubarak is chairman of the board and Sheikha Lubna al-Qasimi is deputy chairman. The other board members are Jasem Mohamed al-Zaabi, Mohamed Sahu al-Suwaidi and David Scott.

“Enec is now in the final stages of negotiating with teams of contractors who are bidding to design, build and help operate the plants. Actual construction, starting with the first pouring of safety-related concrete, will commence in 2012. A decision on which team will be selected as prime contractor is expected to be made shortly,” according to a government statement issued on 24 December.

Enec received bids in July from a French team of Areva, GdF Suez and Total with the US’ Bechtel Corporation and France’s Vinci as its contractors; a consortium of the US’ GE and Japan’s Hitachi; and a South Korean team of Korea Electric Power Corporation and Hyundai Engineering & Construction, with Samsung Corporation as the contractor (MEED 4:12:09).