Third unit of Abu Dhabi’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant starts commercial operations

This boosts total production to 4,200 megawatts of clean electricity

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Unit 3 of Abu Dhabi's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has begun commercial operations.

The third unit to be delivered in three consecutive years, it adds 1,400 megawatts of clean electricity capacity to the grid, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said on Friday.

“[The opening of Unit 3 boosts] total production from Units 1, 2 and 3 of Barakah to up to 4,200MW of … reliable, clean electricity for the UAE national grid,” Enec said.

Barakah is the Arab world’s first nuclear power station and, once fully operational, will supply about 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity needs.

Only one of the four planned units has yet to start operations.

“Barakah is a successful global benchmark for other nations looking to diversify their energy portfolio during a time of international energy crises,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, managing director and chief executive of Enec.

The development comes at a time when the UAE is marking the “Year of Sustainability” and preparing to host the UN's Cop28 climate summit later this year.

“With three units now operating commercially, we are delivering energy security, powering sustainable economic growth, driving innovation and contributing to achieve our net-zero strategy by 2050,” said Mr Al Hammadi.

“We look forward to showcasing just how critical nuclear is in tackling climate change, using proven solutions available today, at Cop28 in the UAE in November.”

It was announced last week, meanwhile, the UAE was to honour workers in the country’s nuclear field.

The “professional day of nuclear and radiation sector workers” will be marked every year on February 16. It will celebrate the thousands of Emiratis and residents who work in the field as engineers, inspection officers, safety workers and many more.

The day marks the date three years ago that Fanr granted an operating licence to the first unit of the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant.

Updated: February 24, 2023, 1:23 PM