His Excellency Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp.’s (ENEC’s) CEO, recently sat down via video conference with Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s president and CEO, during a virtual fireside chat on the progress being made at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on energy systems, and the importance of decarbonized, reliable and secure energy systems in the future.
H.E. Al Hammadi began by highlighting how the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program has and will continue to power the future social and economic growth of the nation.
“The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the Arab World’s first peaceful nuclear energy plant located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, will change the way the UAE powers its growth,” said H.E. Al Hammadi. “Producing 5.6 gigawatts of electricity while preventing the release of more than 21 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, the Barakah Plant will power the UAE with clean, safe and reliable baseload electricity. It is also providing countless high-value jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain.
“The Barakah Plant and nuclear energy globally is also directly contributing to the decarbonization of the electricity sector and the growth of electrification. In the UAE alone, the emissions that will be prevented by the operation of the Barakah Plant are equivalent to the removal of 3.2 million cars from the nation’s road annually – this is immensely significant within the context of our efforts to combat global warming and address air pollution challenges around the world,” he added.
Speaking to the impact of COVID-19, H.E. Al Hammadi said: “In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and following the guidance of the UAE’s leadership, we came together with our partners to swiftly implement a range of measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, as well as our business continuity and ability to continue on schedule with the start-up of Unit 1 at the Barakah Plant. COVID-19 has been a tremendous challenge for all of us, however, I am proud of our teams’ response and fortunate to be able to say that we have not experienced a single positive case of COVID-19 at the Barakah site. Today work is continuing to progress safely and steadily on all four units of the plant.”
H.E. Al Hammadi also highlighted the successful implementation of ENEC’s business continuity program to ensure the continued safe and steady development of the Barakah Plant.
“Following receipt of the Operating License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Reregulation (FANR) and having completed the loading of fuel assemblies into Unit 1’s reactor, we are in the advanced stages of startup on Unit 1. This Unit will reach criticality very soon, and the COVID-19 pandemic has not derailed our plans. We have 700 employees working on the project to meet the timeline,” said H.E. Al Hammadi. “Testing is also continuing at Units 2, 3 and 4, following the completion of all major construction work.”
The online conversation was held under the theme of ‘COVID-19 and the Future of the Decarbonized Global Power System’. The event forms part of the Atlantic Council’s evolving discussions and analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 and the state of the global energy industry.
The ENEC is working to deliver safe, clean, efficient and reliable nuclear energy to the United Arab Emirates.
Established by decree in December 2009 by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, ENEC represents all aspects of the UAE peaceful nuclear energy program.
Driven by a Culture of Safety, ENEC’s overriding priority is ensuring the safety of the UAE community, employees and the environment.
Nawah Energy Co. is a subsidiary of the ENEC and partially owned by the Korea Electric Power Corp.(KEPCO ), Nawah has been mandated to safely operate and maintain Units 1 to 4 in Barakah.
Barakah One Co. is a subsidiary of the ENEC and partially owned by the KEPCO. Barakah One is represents the financial and commercial interests of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant project.