Enec: Barakah nuclear plant now sending megawatts of power to UAE grid

Unit 1’s operators will now begin the process of gradually raising the power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT)

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has announced that its operations and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), has safely and successfully connected Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to the UAE power grid. Enec says the plant is now dispatching the first megawatts of clean electricity to the UAE.

Nawah carried out the operation in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (Transco), which is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa), the statement from Enec explained.

Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) is the prime contractor and joint venture partner for the plant. Enec said it decided to work with Kepco to capitalise on its 40-plus years of nuclear experience for the benefit of the Barakah project, which aims to deliver safe, clean, efficient and reliable nuclear energy to the UAE grid.

During the process, the generator in Unit 1 was integrated and synchronised with the requirements of the UAE’s national electricity transmission grid, the statement explained. Unit 1 connection, also referred to as ‘grid synchronisation’, marks the first time that clean electricity produced at the plant is delivered to the UAE national grid. This follows the safe and successful start-up of Unit 1 at the end of July 2020 by Nawah.

Since the start-up of Unit 1, Enec says that the operations team have run a series of tests, steadily increasing the power levels to generate the first megawatts of baseload electricity produced by the Barakah plant, located in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi.

“The safe and successful connection of Unit 1 to the UAE grid marks the key moment when we begin to deliver on our mission to power the growth of the nation by supplying clean electricity, around the clock. Grid connection of Unit 1 really is the beginning of a new era in our project, which is built upon years of preparation and adherence to the highest international safety and quality standards. We are confident in our people and our technology to continue to progress to reach commercial operations, and the completion of the remaining three units, with the goal to power up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs for at least the next 60 years,” said Enec CEO Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi.

With electricity from peaceful nuclear energy now being delivered to homes and business across the UAE, this milestone is a significant moment in the continued safe, secure, and quality-led delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program and its cornerstone, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the statement noted.

“This project, in addition to the UAE’s efforts made in implementing other forms of clean power generation, delivers one of the most ambitious clean electricity transformations in the region and the world, setting the nation on a new track of sustainable development and electrification,” Al Hammadi explained.

Al Hammadi pointed out that the successful delivery of electricity to the nation was the result of strong and sustained collaboration with Enec’s local and international partners.

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