During the visit, the leaders met the teams working at the plant, including Emirati and Korean nuclear energy experts. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol visited the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant on Monday.

The two leaders witnessed the ongoing operation of Units 1 and 2 of the plant, the completion of Unit 3 and the progress made on Unit 4.

The visit comes in line with efforts to build on the existing strategic partnership between the UAE and South Korea with the recent signing of a number of government-level agreements.

The two leaders praised the exceptional achievements marked throughout more than a decade at the Barakah plant, the first civil nuclear energy plant in the Arab world and the largest source of clean electricity in the region.

During the visit, the leaders met the teams working at the plant, including Emirati and Korean nuclear energy experts. More than 50 nationalities are working at Barakah, which once fully operational will provide up to 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity needs without generating any carbon emissions, while freeing up an equivalent of billions worth of natural gas resources.

Sheikh Mohamed said that the special partnership between the UAE and the Republic of Korea has brought significant benefits to both countries, enabling bilateral cooperation in a number of key sectors including nuclear energy. The collaboration plays a vital role in supporting international efforts to deliver global energy security and drive sustainable development – critical priorities for all nations given the current parallel challenges of the energy security crisis and climate change emergency.

“The relationship between the UAE and the Republic of Korea has been continuously strengthened through the decade-long collaboration in developing the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. In 2009, the UAE prioritised energy security while in parallel accelerating a rapid transition to cleaner energy sources through the use of civil nuclear energy. I am proud of the Emirati, Korean and international teams working together at Barakah, as they complete another Unit to strengthen the UAE’s clean electricity portfolio and set the global benchmark for nuclear energy project delivery,” Sheikh Mohamed added.

South Korea’s President highlighted in his speech: “The Barakah nuclear fleet, which has two units in operation and the other two soon to be operational, holds great, monumental significance as it represents the special strategic partnership between the UAE and the Republic of Korea. Building on the success that we have achieved jointly as partners at Barakah and capitalising on team Korea’s excellent nuclear technology and experience, now is the time for us to further our partnership to a greater height delivering additional cooperation in the UAE and making headway into third country nuclear markets together. I hope that my visit marks a watershed for our comprehensive and strategic energy partnership that would extend beyond nuclear to areas including hydrogen, renewables and carbon capture and storage.”

Once fully operational, the Barakah plant will provide abundant clean and reliable electricity 24x7 to power the UAE’s industries and over half a million homes, as well as supporting the UAE’s strategy for becoming a net-exporter of LNG by 2030.