Japan and the UAE have inked a new nuclear accord, focusing on nuclear cooperation and technology transfer to assist with the building of nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates.
In return for nuclear expertise, Japan has expressed willingness to renew oil and gas concessions, through 2108, with the UAE. Earlier this year, Japan had offered Saudi Arabia nuclear technology as well in a bid to secure long-term oil supplies to meet its growing energy requirements. Japanese banks are also trying to warm ties with the Gulf states by providing Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) with a USD 3 billion loan for the expansion of their facilities.
“We have reduced imports over five years by 40 percent from Iran because of US sanctions. More than 80 percent of (our) oil imports are from the Middle East, that’s why we can reduce Iran oil and increase our partnership with UAE, Saudi Arabia. Japan’s dependence on imported crude oil from the UAE and Saudi Arabia has increased after the closure of its nuclear plants and reduction in imports from Iran. — Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman
In recent years, OPEC members have shown an interest in adopting nuclear and other green technologies to save on exportable gas and petroleum products. A consortium of South Korean companies is building a nuclear power station in Abu Dhabi, but the Emirate is expected to build more nuclear plants to help meet soaring electricity demand. The UAE has signed similar nuclear deals with Australia, Canada, the U.S., UK, South Korea, France and Russia.
Over the next two decades, Saudi Arabia also plans to build up to 17 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity to reduce its domestic oil consumption.