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Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri (second from left) at Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is supporting UAE’s energy transition and considerably reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment said during a visit to the plant on Monday.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri witnessed the progress of the plant and its growing contribution to the decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector.

“Increasing the share of clean energy in the power mix is a pillar of the UAE’s climate action and its shift to low-carbon green economy to achieve sustainable economic development in line with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative. The Barakah Plant significantly supports our energy transition, considerably reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slashing the country’s carbon footprint, which advances our climate action and bring us closer to meeting our climate neutrality ambitions by 2050,” Almheiri said.

Almheiri was welcomed by Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, managing director and CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC); Ali Al Hammadi, CEO of Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), ENEC’s subsidiary mandated to operate and maintain the Barakah Plant; nd Nasser Al Nasseri, CEO of Barakah One Company, ENEC’s subsidiary responsible for the financial aspects of the Plant.

The minister visited Unit 1, which has been commercially operating since April 2021, and Unit 2, which started commercial operations last month. She also toured a number of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant facilities, and met some of the key members of the Emirati-led team operating and maintaining the Arab world’s first multi-unit nuclear energy plant.

Minister Mariam at Barakah plant in Abu Dhabi
The minister outside the plant Image Credit: Supplied

Sustainable powerhouse

“We were delighted to welcome [Almheiri] to the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, which has become a sustainable powerhouse for the nation over the past 12 months, generating abundant emissions-free electricity 24/7 for the nation. The plant is a key enabler for our nation’s Net Zero target and we are committing to steadily decarbonising the power sector over the coming years, as well as looking to the future and we now have our eyes set on commissioning Units 3 and 4 as we continue to progress the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy industry for decades to come,” Al Hammadi said.

The construction of the Barakah Plant started in 2011 and has progressed steadily since then. The development of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now more than 96 per cent complete.

Once operational, the four units of Barakah Plant will produce up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs, and will prevent 22.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year. By 2025, the Barakah Plant will be producing 85 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s clean electricity, and will be the biggest contributor to reducing Abu Dhabi’s carbon emissions by 50 per cent.