Sunday 11 April 2021
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced that Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has started commercial operations, a significant milestone in the UAE’s long-term roadmap for sustainable, knowledge-based economic prosperity.
The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Program, which is run by Emirati expertise supported by global expertise, will be a game-changer for the energy sector in the country.
ENEC confirmed that its operations and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company, has successfully started commercial operations of Unit 1 following the completion of all testing activity. The 1400 MW Unit 1 is now providing constant, reliable, and sustainable electricity around the clock, with three further units to begin generating in the coming years. As a result, ENEC is now leading the largest decarbonization effort of any industry in the UAE to date.
Barakah One Company, ENEC’s subsidiary in charge of the financial and commercial activities of the Barakah project, signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) in 2016 to purchase all electricity generated at the plant for the next 60 years. Electricity produced at Barakah feeds into the national grid in the same manner as other energy plants, providing clean electricity to homes and businesses across the country.
The start of commercial operations follows a period of extensive testing, overseen by the independent national regulator – the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). FANR conducted 312 independent inspections since the start of Barakah’s development. These reviews have been conducted alongside more than 42 assessments and peer reviews by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).
The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, is one of the largest nuclear energy plants in the world, with four APR-1400 units. Construction began in 2012 and has progressed steadily ever since. Unit 2 has now completed the fuel load process and is working through all of the required processes prior to startup, scheduled for later in 2021. Construction of Units 3 and 4 are in the final stages of 94% and 89% completion, respectively, benefitting from the experience and lessons learned during the construction of Units 1 and 2. The construction of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now more than 95% complete.