Abu Dhabi: Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Plant in Abu Dhabi has been connected to the UAE grid, adding another 1400MW of clean electricity to the system.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced on Saturday that following the start-up of Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, its operations and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), has now safely and successfully connected the unit to the UAE’s transmission grid, delivering the first megawatts of carbon-free electricity from the third of the four units at the Barakah Plant.
Unit 3 will add another 1,400 megawatts of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity to the national grid, a major step forward in advancing UAE energy security and energy sustainability to tackle climate change – two of the biggest challenges facing the world today.
With both Units 1 and 2 already in commercial operation, generating clean electricity every minute of the day and with Unit 3 close to commercial operations in the coming months – Barakah is accelerating the decarbonization of the power sector and forms an essential component of the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy.
The nuclear sector as a whole is a vital part of the UAE’s clean energy system of multiple low-carbon technologies, ensuring the reliability, efficiency and resilience of the UAE grid for at least the next 60 years.
Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “Our leadership’s long-term vision and decisions more than 13 years ago are paying dividends today as we celebrate another proud moment for the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. Connecting Unit 3 to the UAE transmission grid adds thousands more megawatts of clean electricity to power all aspects of society, replaces the need to burn fossil fuels for energy, and through Clean Energy Certification, gives many companies in the UAE a unique competitive advantage. I am proud of our Emirati led teams who continue to showcase world-class levels of capability, knowledge and expertise – powering a Net Zero economy through their work. Congratulations to everyone who has helped make these achievements a reality.”
Following grid connection, Unit 3 will undergo the process of gradually raising power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT). The process will be continuously monitored and tested until maximum electricity production is reached, while adhering to all local regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security.
Total four units
Once all four units of the Barakah Plant are commercially operational, they will contribute up to 25% of the UAE’s National Determined Contributions to Net Zero and is the largest source of dispatchable clean electricity. The Plant demonstrates how nuclear energy projects can be delivered safely, successfully and competitively to tackle growing carbon emissions. Through clean electricity generated at Barakah, nuclear is helping to decarbonize some of the most energy intense sectors.
The second unit of its Barakah nuclear power plant was connected to the national power grid in September 2021 while the Barakah Unit 1 had been connected to the national grid in August 2020. The plant in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi is the first nuclear power station in the Arab world.
Unit 3 operation
Last month, the ENEC had announced that its operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) has successfully started up Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafra Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
The milestone shows the significant progress being made in bringing the four units of the Barakah Plant, the first multi-unit operational nuclear plant in the Arab World, online and accelerating the decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector on the way to Net Zero by 2050. Both Units 1 and 2 of the Barakah Plant are already operating commercially, providing an abundant source of clean and reliable electricity 24/7, while Unit 4 is in the final stages of commissioning prior to completion of construction.
ENEC is spearheading the decarbonisation of the power sector and the Barakah Plant is an essential component of the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy. The Plant is a catalyst for innovation in the clean energy transition, including SMR development and next generation reactors, and a bridge to other clean fuels like hydrogen.
Powerhouse of development
A powerhouse for the nation’s development, energy security and stability, the Plant generates high-value jobs and stimulates the growth of local industries. Barakah also provides significant environmental benefits for the nation today, and for the next 60 years and beyond, through rapid decarbonisation of the energy sector. When fully operational, the Plant will prevent 22.4 million tons of carbon emissions — the leading cause of climate change — every year.