Commercial operations kick off at Unit 2 of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

Unit 1 and Unit 2 are now contributing 2,800MW of clean energy to the UAE’s national grid

The start of commercial operations of Unit 2 at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has been confirmed by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC). Unit 2 adds 1,400MW of zero-carbon emission electricity to the national grid, bringing the total produced by Units 1 and 2 to 2,800MW. The move further secures energy supply and advances the UAE’s sustainability goals, ENEC said.

According to a statement, with Unit 2 commercially operational, the Barakah Plant which is located in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, is leading the largest decarbonisation of any industry in the region, delivering thousands of megawatts of carbon-free electricity every day. The milestone could be achieved only with the support of Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) and Abu Dhabi Transmission and Dispatch Company (Transco), ENEC noted.

The achievement takes ENEC and its subsidiaries to the halfway mark of delivering on its commitment to supply up a quarter of the country’s electricity needs, powering the economy by generating clean electricity 24/7 and contributing to the UAE’s Net-Zero by 2050 initiative, said the statement.

“With Unit 2 reaching commercial operations less than 12 months after Unit 1, we have demonstrated the UAE’s megaproject capabilities, building institutional knowledge to enhance delivery to the highest standards, and offer a successful case study for other nations looking to diversify their energy portfolio using a proven and sustainable technology,” said ENEC MD and CEO Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi.

While supporting the country’s strategy to diversify energy sources in a shift towards cleaner energy, ENEC is also spearheading the UAE Net-Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative by preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions and helping tackle climate change and deliver climate solutions, he added.

Barakah One Company CEO Nasser Al Nasseri added, “Today is an integral day for the delivery of the Barakah plant with the commercial operations of Unit 2, we are now selling double the volume of electricity to the EWEC as per the power purchase deal signed in 2016. We are committed to efficient and reliable power generation to ensure homes, businesses and industry across the UAE have continuous access to clean baseload electricity and will do so for the coming 60 years ahead.”

Ali Al Hammadi, CEO of Nawah Energy Company, ENEC’s subsidiary mandated to operate and maintain the Barakah Plant remarked, “The start of Unit 2 commercial operations comes as a result of the world-class operating experience of our teams made up of UAE Nationals and international experts. Unit 2 joins Unit 1, which achieved commercial operation in April last year, while the other two units are in the final stages of commissioning. The construction of Unit 3 has already been completed and is now undergoing operational readiness preparations and Unit 4 is in the final stages of construction completion.”

The development of the Barakah Plant is more than 96% complete, having steadily progressed since construction started in 2012, the statement concluded.

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