H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, met with a delegation from the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its subsidiaries at the Palm Palace to discuss the commercial operations of Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the Al Dhafra region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the latest updates of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme.
His Highness highlighted the UAE’s fast-paced action against climate change and the positive impact of clean nuclear energy to the leadership’s vision for the clean energy transition, as Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant begins commercial operations.
During the meeting, Sheikh Hamdan highlighted the vital role of nuclear energy in ensuring energy security and enhancing sustainable development in the UAE to achieve the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative.
H.H. congratulated the teams at the Barakah Plant on the continuous and exceptional achievements of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme, which have enhanced the global reputation of the nation in the clean energy sector, thanks to the directives of the country’s wise leadership and their continuous support for the UAE Programme and the Barakah Plant.
“Today we are seeing the rapid decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector as a direct result of wise leadership vision and decisive action taken over the past 14 years. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is now providing even more carbon emissions-free electricity to support the economic growth of the country, whilst contributing to our Net Zero by 2050 strategy. This is a proud moment for the UAE as we continue to achieve major milestones during the ‘Year of Sustainability,’ an initiative launched by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. As the third of four units begins commercial operations, the Barakah Plant takes a significant leap towards fulfilling its goal of producing 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity needs, while preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions every year,” H.H. Sheikh Hamdan said.
“This is a testament to the world that with our nation’s strength, capability and ambitions, we are successfully progressing our plans to play a leading role in efforts to tackle climate change and drive innovation. The Barakah Plant has inspired youth across the UAE in leading the clean energy transition, created thousands of jobs for talented Emiratis and contributed to the prosperity of Al Dhafra region. The UAE looks forward to hosting COP28 later this year as we collectively collaborate to protect our planet and improve global energy security in a sustainable manner,” H.H. Sheikh Hamdan added.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed on developing Emirati talents in the nuclear energy sector as being of the upmost importance, along with continuing to build on the Nation’s R&D capabilities in order to keep pace with the latest developments in the nuclear energy sector.
The delegation comprising officials from ENEC, and its subsidiaries presented the latest updates on the Barakah Plant, with three Units of the Barakah Plant are reliably generating up to 4,200 MW of carbon-free electricity from the three operational reactors. Unit 4 is undergoing final tests before construction completion is declared, and the unit is handed over for operational readiness preparations.
His Highness was also briefed by the delegation on ENEC’s future strategy, as it is currently focusing on research and development, with opportunities for clean molecule production, such as clean hydrogen, and investment in nuclear energy projects both locally and abroad. ENEC is also exploring opportunities in advanced technologies in nuclear energy, including Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and the next generation of nuclear reactors. The Barakah Plant is a catalyst for innovation in other civil applications of nuclear energy, such as those in medicine, agriculture and aerospace.
Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “Thanks to the support of our wise Leadership, we continue to work to enhance the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme’s broad range of contributions to UAE society and the economy, including the development of skilled professionals, innovation and research and development. Our aspirations now set on delivering the full scope of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program to further expedite the clean energy transition through clean molecule production and advanced technologies, as well as expanding the UAE’s nuclear energy capacity and across the globe. The international challenges related to the energy crisis further emphasise the pivotal role of nuclear energy in accelerating the decarbonisation and achieving Net Zero by 2050,” Al Hammadi added.
The Barakah Plant provides thousands of high value jobs, developing a local nuclear supply chain and supporting local companies with contracts worth more than AED 24 billion to date. Once fully operational, the four Units of the Barakah Plant will save billions of dollars of natural gas annually, diverting these important resources for other uses in the UAE or for export. The Barakah Plant, the largest source of clean electricity to the UAE’s grid will account for 25 percent of the UAE’s National Determined Contribution for emissions reductions towards achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement.