The UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) is in talks with four banks as it seeks to appoint a financial adviser to assist with the development of its 5,600MW nuclear power scheme.

The four banks are the UK’s HSBC and Rothschild, US’ Citigroup, and France’s BNP Paribas. All four are understood to have already made pitches to Enec.

HSBC, Citigroup and BNP Paribas had all previously been in talks with bidding groups on the project about acting as financial adviser to a potential developer of the projects. However, they were either not awarded the mandates, or the consortium they supported was not selected.

The UK’s KPMG has already been appointed as financial adviser on the project, but an additional bank adviser is being appointed to help run the process and structure the scheme to make it attractive to private sources of finance. It is also expected that a new adviser would make a sizeable financial contribution to the development of the project.

Enec is also currently seeking a legal adviser for the scheme. The scope of legal work has been expanded to include corporate structuring and several law firms are to be chosen as a result.

A South Korean consortium won a contract estimated to be worth $40bn to develop and operate four nuclear power plants in the UAE on 27 December 2009. The UK’s Standard Chartered is acting as an adviser to the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Samsung Corporation consortium (MEED 17:01:10).

Enec has already appointed the US’ CH2M Hill and Thorium Power as technical advisers on the development of the plants.

Construction on the nuclear plants is not scheduled to begin until 2012, with the first reactors to be deployed in 2017.