DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has awarded six fuel contracts valued at $3 billion for its first nuclear power plant, expected to start up by 2017.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said Wednesday the move will enable the Barakah plant to generate up to 450 million megawatts for 15 years after the plant's opening. The contracts were awarded to U.S. ConverDyn; Canadian Uranium One, Inc.; the U.K-based firm URENCO; Anglo-Australian giant Rio Tinto; Russia's firm TENEX and France's Areva.

The UAE in July became the first country in more than two and a half decades to begin building its maiden nuclear power plant.

It signed a deal with the U.S. not to enrich uranium or reprocess spent nuclear fuel for plutonium, which can be used in nuclear bombs.