Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced steady progress on its ambitious Barakah nuclear plant project coming up in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi with the last two units – Units 3 and 4 – in the final stages of commissioning.
Enec is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.
The Emirati firm said Unit 3 is already undergoing operational readiness preparations.
The development of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now more than 96 percent complete. When fully operational, the four units of the Barakah Plant will prevent 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year for more than 60 years, said senior Enec officials during the inspection tour of the visiting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.
Grossi was welcomed by Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, the Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IAEA, Engineer Ali Al Hammadi, CEO of Nawah Energy Company, the operation and maintenance subsidiary of Enec and Nasser Al Nasseri, the CEO of Barakah One Company.
Grossi commended the Enec team for the major progress that has been made at the Barakah Plant, which is now generating clean electricity and rapidly decarbonizing the Nation’s power sector with Unit 1 commercially operational.
Grossi also toured Unit 2 of the plant, which was connected to the UAE grid in August and recently achieved 50% power for the first time as part of the power ascension testing prior to commercial operation of the Unit.
“It was very impressive to visit Barakah and see first-hand all what the UAE has achieved over the past decade in becoming the first Arab country to build and operate a nuclear power plant. The world needs nuclear power – and more of it – as an indispensable part of the solution to the climate crisis,” remarked the IAEA chief.
“Nuclear is a low-carbon energy source that can also provide round-the-clock baseload power in all types of weather to complement wind and solar. The UAE is one of the 32 countries that currently operate a total of 442 nuclear power reactors around the world, producing about 10 per cent of global electricity and more than a quarter of all low carbon electricity,” he stated.
“As countries step up efforts to decarbonize their economies, interest in nuclear power is growing,” added Grossi.
Lauding IAEA for its guidance, Al Kaabi said: “It has provided a clear path for the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program to follow that has guided our every step since inception, along with continuous guidance and regular inspections to support the UAE Program since its launch in 2009.”
“This support has helped to ensure that the Barakah Plant meets the highest international standards of nuclear safety, security, quality and non-proliferation,” he added.
Al Hammadi said: “With the support of the IAEA, the UAE became the first country in the Arab world with a multi-unit operating nuclear plant and is today leading the largest decarbonization effort in the region. The close cooperation with the IAEA contributed significantly to establish the UAE Program as a role model for other new nuclear energy projects globally.”
“The Barakah Plant is powering a clean and sustainable future for the UAE by generating abundant clean electricity around the clock to fulfil growing demand while in parallel tackling climate change. We look forward to many more years of cooperation with the IAEA and wider international nuclear energy community,” he added.
Source: Trade Arabia