Barakah nuclear energy plant begins commercial operations

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Barakah nuclear energy plant begins commercial operations

06 Apr 2021

It’s official: The clean, emissions-free electricity from Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant is now in your home, as the facility has started commercial operations.

The authorities on Tuesday announced that the Barakah plant — the Arab world’s first nuclear power station — is now providing constant, reliable, and sustainable electricity to the UAE’s households and businesses through its first 1,400MW unit.

Commercial operations mean the testing phase of the Unit 1 nuclear reactor is over. It has met all national requirements and international standards, and electricity can now be delivered round the clock, seven days a week for the next 60 years. The only halt will be every 12 to 18 months for refuelling.

Today, Unit 1 is the largest single generator connected to the UAE grid, generating thousands of megawatts of carbon-free electricity every single day. And once the other three units at the plant are fully operational, 5,600MW of electricity will be produced, which is enough to power 574,000 households in the UAE.

The four units will eventually power 25 per cent of the country’s electricity needs. The Barakah plant is a proven solution to climate change, preventing 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions or equal to removing 3.2 million cars off the roads annually.

The commercial operation is a result of a decade of effort by a multinational, Emirati-led team to deliver on the commitments made in 2008 on generating clean electricity for the UAE.

Unit 2 has recently finished the fuel loading process, while Units 3 and 4 are 94 per cent and 89 per cent complete, respectively.

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Enec, noted how the UAE has set a clear roadmap to ensure the project is developed in accordance with the highest international industry standards of safety and quality and with full transparency. “Our investment in pioneering technologies and the decarbonisation of our electricity production not only advances the UAE’s clean energy leadership but also produces tangible socioeconomic and environmental benefits. We congratulate all of our partners as we continue to support the prosperity and sustainable growth of our country.”

Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, CEO of Enec, termed it a start of the new chapter in the UAE’s transition to cleaner energy sources. “The Barakah Plant uses a proven technology for significantly reducing carbon emissions to tackle climate change, one of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced,” he said.

Barakah One Company, Enec’s subsidiary in charge of the financial and commercial activities of the Barakah project, signed a power purchase agreement with the Emirates Water and Electricity Company in 2016 to purchase all electricity generated at the plant for the next 60 years.

Electricity from Barakah feeds into the national grid in the same manner as other energy plants.

Source: Khaleej Times