President Sheikh Mohamed and Yoon Suk Yeol visit Barakah Nuclear Plant

South Korean President given a tour of the facility and shown the progress being made on Unit 4

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President Sheikh Mohamed and South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol visited the Barakah Nuclear Plant to mark the completion of Unit 3 on Monday.

The third unit, which was connected to the grid in October last year, has the capacity to deliver up to 1,400 megawatts of emissions-free energy.

Mr Yoon was given a tour of the plant, in Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, and was shown the progress being made on Unit 4.

During the visit, the leaders met teams working at Barakah, including Emirati and South Korean nuclear energy experts, according to state news agency Wam.

More than 50 nationalities are working at the plant which, when fully operational, will provide 25 per cent of the UAE's electricity needs without carbon emissions.

Sheikh Mohamed said that the partnership between the UAE and South Korea has brought significant benefits to both countries, enabling bilateral co-operation in a number of key sectors including nuclear energy.

“The relationship between the UAE and the Republic of Korea has been continuously strengthened through the decade-long collaboration in developing the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant,” said Sheikh Mohamed.

“In 2009, the UAE prioritised energy security while in parallel accelerating a rapid transition to cleaner energy sources through the use of civil nuclear energy.

“I am proud of the Emirati, Korean and international teams working together at Barakah, as they complete another unit to strengthen the UAE’s clean electricity portfolio and set the global benchmark for nuclear energy project delivery.”

The UAE and South Korea have had close ties for 40 years. In 2009, the UAE awarded the contract for the construction of the Barakah plant to Korea Electric Power Company, which during the peak of construction was the largest nuclear energy project globally.

In 2016, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and KEPCO signed an agreement to support the sustainable operations of the Barakah Plant over the coming more than 60 years of operations.

“The Barakah nuclear fleet, which has two units in operation and the other two soon to be operational, holds great, monumental significance as it represents the special strategic partnership between the UAE and the Republic of Korea,” said Mr Yoon.

“Building on the success that we have achieved jointly as partners at Barakah and capitalising on Team Korea’s excellent nuclear technology and experience, now is the time for us to further our partnership to a greater height delivering additional co-operation in the UAE and making headway into third country nuclear markets together.

“I hope that my visit marks a watershed for our comprehensive and strategic energy partnership that would extend beyond nuclear to areas including hydrogen, renewables and carbon capture and storage.”

Once fully operational, the Barakah Plant will provide clean and reliable electricity to power the UAE’s industries and more than 500,000 homes, as well as supporting the UAE’s target of being a net exporter of LNG by 2030.

Updated: January 16, 2023, 9:21 PM