When Nations Need To Go Beyond Oil

Gulf states put new emphasis on growing local industries

There’s a certain symbolism in the role South Korea has taken on in helping the United Arab Emirates launch its nuclear power industry.

South Korea – a relative newcomer to nuclear power compared to bigger rivals like the United States, Japan, or France – grew its own industry from the ground up in order to cut energy costs, create new jobs at home, and boost domestic growth.

Today, a Korean consortium led by state-owned electric utility Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO), is working with the UAE and its Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) to do the same thing. The joint Korean and ENEC team is building four facilities in western Abu Dhabi with the help of local labor and companies, part of the Emirates own localization efforts to increase its industrial base and employment and generate more electricity to power the nation’s economic growth moving forward. The first reactor in Barakah is scheduled to be completed in 2017; the other three are slated for 2020.

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Nations globally are pushing producers for more local content and jobs

Source: Oliver Wyman analysis, Saudi Vision 2030, ANP, PROMINP, Eskom, IPIECA, Global Local Content Council, World Nuclear Association, and published reports

About Authors

Bruno Sousa is a Dubai-based principal in Oliver Wyman’s Energy practice, Volker Weber is a Dubai-based partner in Oliver Wyman’s Energy practice, Saji Sam is a Dubai-based partner in Oliver Wyman’s Energy practice, and Bernhard Hartmann is a Dubai-based partner in Oliver Wyman’s Energy practice.


This article first appeared in the Middle East Economic Survey (subscription required).

When Nations Need To Go Beyond Oil