The Middle-East and Africa nuclear power plant equipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 6% in the forecast period of 2020 - 2025. Due to an increase in electricity demand in the region, the demand for small-scale nuclear plants is expected to grow in the forecast period. The significant contribution of nuclear energy in reducing GHG emissions, while fulfilling the increasing energy demands of a growing population and supporting global sustainable development is driving the market. Upcoming projects in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa are expected to create significant demand for different nuclear power plant equipment. On the other hand, delay in projects commissioning due to high investment coupled with the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic, growth is likely to be restrained during the forecast period.
- With a significant share of pressurized water reactors and with upcoming projects, they are expected to dominate the reactor segment during the forecast period.
- With a large share of the population without access to electricity in African countries and additionally upcoming plans of nuclear power in Middle-East countries, significant opportunities are expected to be provided for the players involved in the market in the near future.
- Although Saudi Arabia has no significant nuclear power as of 2020, during the forecast period, with the aim of constructing two new nuclear reactors, the nation is expected to create substantial market opportunities.
Key Market Trends
Pressurized Water Reactors to Dominate the Market
- A typical design of a commercial PWR is such that the core inside the reactor vessel creates heat. The core of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) contains nuclear fuel, moderator, control rods, and coolant that is cooled and moderated by high-pressure liquid water. PWR consists of a reactor vessel, steam generators, reactor coolant pumps, control roads, a pressurizer, and other elements.
- Construction of unit 1 of the United Arab Emirates' first nuclear power plant, Barakah, was officially completed in March 2018; however, the operation was postponed to 2020 to complete operator training and obtain regulatory approvals. In May 2018, the Department of Energy issued an electricity generation license for Barakah 1, resulting in significant growth in PWRs.
- As of May 2020, testing began on units 2, 3, and 4, which were more than 95%, 92%, and 84% complete, respectively. The commissioning of all four units is likely to propel the nuclear power generation in the country.
- In 2013, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority announced a target of 12% of its electricity generation from nuclear by 2030, primarily from Abu Dhabi's Barakah plant
- In March 2017, construction and installation work began at Bushehr, Iran. In May 2018, work was underway for phase 2, and the concreting started for both the phase 2 and phase 3 in March 2019.
- The Middle-East and Africa region witnesses growth in nuclear power generation in 2019. With 20.6 TWh electricity from nuclear in 2019, the region is creating demand for the concerned market.
- Although most of the African countries are not likely to invest in nuclear energy in the forecast period, however, upcoming projects in Middle-East are expected to drive the PWR market.
Saudi Arabia is Expected to Create Significant Demand
- The Saudi Arabian nuclear energy program has remained in the nascent phase. In July 2017, the Saudi cabinet approved a National Project for Atomic Energy, including plans to build large and small nuclear reactors for electricity production and desalination
- The Saudi Arabian government was initially planning to add 17.6 GW of nuclear capacity by 2040 through the construction of 16 nuclear reactors. However, as the low oil prices constricted government spending, the government was forced to consolidate its budget.
- Saudi Arabia is also planning to build two large nuclear power reactors, and it has plans for small reactors for desalination, which is likely to drive the demand for nuclear power equipment significantly.
- The country has asked information from five vendors from China, Russia, France, South Korea, and the United States. In November 2018, a contract was awarded to Worley Parsons to provide wide-ranging consultancy services for the Saudi National Atomic Energy Project.
- With increasing industries and population, the electricity demand is rising. Saudi Arabia generated 357 TWh electricity in 2019, with a significant share of oil and gas. To decrease the dependency on oil, nuclear energy is likely to grow and drive the market in the coming years.
The Middle-East and Africa nuclear power plant equipment market is moderately consolidated. Some of the major companies include Korea Electric Power Corporation, Doosan Corporation, Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
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