Home » Unit 3 of Abu Dhabi’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant commences commercial operations

Unit 3 of Abu Dhabi’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant commences commercial operations

by Dubaiforum

ABU DHABI, 24th February, 2023 (WAM) – Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced that its operating and maintenance subsidiary Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), has commenced commercial operations of Unit 3 of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi.

As the third unit to be delivered in three consecutive years, this major accomplishment adds a further 1,400 megawatts (MW) of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity, boosting total production from Units 1, 2 and 3 of Barakah up to 4,200MW of baseload, reliable, clean electricity for the UAE national grid.

Unit 3 of the Barakah Plant has completed the process from Fuel Load to Commercial Operations more than four months faster than Unit 2 and more than five months faster than Unit 1. This demonstrates how the operations teams utilised and implemented the experience gained from the previous two units, while adhering to all national regulations and international standards, as confirmed by assessments of the UAE regulator FANR and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).

Unit 3 has been delivered efficiently and in one of the shortest time-frames compared to other third-generation reactors built worldwide, demonstrating a new era for nuclear new-build.

Playing a significant role in the UAE’s clean energy transition, ENEC and its subsidiaries are now one unit away from completing the four-unit Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant and realising its commitment to deliver up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity demands.

The first multi-unit operating plant in the Arab World, Barakah, has already powered more than 80 percent of Abu Dhabi emirate’s clean electricity consumption in December 2022.

Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said, “In the Year of Sustainability for the UAE, we are proud to take the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme another step forward with Unit 3 beginning commercial operations. This has been achieved less than a year after successfully starting commercial operations for Unit 2. Barakah is a successful global benchmark for other nations looking to diversify their energy portfolio during a time of international energy crises.

“With three units now operating commercially, we are delivering energy security, powering sustainable economic growth, driving innovation, and contributing to achieving our Net Zero strategy by 2050. We look forward to showcasing just how critical nuclear is in tackling climate change, using proven solutions available today, at COP28 in the UAE in November.”

The commercial operations of Unit 3 were commenced with the continuous support of EWEC and the Abu Dhabi Transmission and Dispatch Company (TRANSCO), which ensure that the clean electricity generated at Barakah is delivered to consumers across the UAE safely and sustainably.

Nasser Al Nasseri, Chief Executive Officer of Barakah One Company, ENEC’s subsidiary in charge of representing the financial and commercial interests of the Barakah Plant project, said, “Today, we reaffirm our commitment to clean electricity generation for EWEC as per the Power Purchase Agreement signed in 2016. The sale of clean electricity further supports Abu Dhabi’s Clean Energy Certification programme, allowing more businesses to demonstrate their sustainability credentials, creating unique competitive advantage, and stimulating the growth of our Net Zero economy.”

Ali Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of Nawah, said, “This is a key achievement for Nawah, as we safely and efficiently begin commercial operations for Unit 3, following national regulations and international standards. Our highly skilled and qualified national and international experts have world-class operating experience to safely provide constant, reliable and sustainable clean electricity around the clock from three parallel operating Units.”

The Barakah Plant, a nation-defining strategic energy infrastructure project, is spearheading the UAE decarbonisation efforts by preventing millions of tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The clean electricity from Barakah also supports Abu Dhabi businesses’ sustainability by providing Clean Energy Certificates.

Today, Barakah represents just 20 percent of the wider UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme, with ENEC investing in research and development, and innovation to further accelerate the opportunities within the UAE’s clean energy transition. This includes major opportunities in clean electricity exports, development of Net Zero molecules, including clean hydrogen and ammonia, and steam, in addition to overseas investments and financing of new clean energy projects.

A powerhouse for the nation’s development, energy security and stability, the plant generates thousands of high-value jobs and stimulates millions of dollars worth business for local companies. Barakah provides significant environmental benefits for the nation today, and for the next 60 years and beyond. When fully operational, the plant will prevent 22.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions – the leading cause of climate change – every year, and will free up billions of dirhams worth of natural gas annually.

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