UAE’s Barakah plant Unit 2 begins delivering carbon-free electricity

UAE’s Barakah plant Unit 2 begins delivering carbon-free electricity
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Updated 14 September 2021

UAE’s Barakah plant Unit 2 begins delivering carbon-free electricity

UAE’s Barakah plant Unit 2 begins delivering carbon-free electricity
  • When completed Barakah will have four reactors with 5,600 MW of total capacity

DUBAI: The second unit of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has been successfully connected to the national power grid, delivering the first megawatts of carbon-free electricity, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. said on Tuesday.

It said following the safe and successful start-up of Unit 2 on Aug. 27, 2021, the plant has become the first multiunit operating nuclear plant in the UAE and Arab world.

ENEC said: “With the Unit 2 grid connection completed, it is in preparation to adding a further 1,400MW of clean electricity capacity to the UAE grid, with the first megawatts of emissions-free electricity from this unit now being dispatched to businesses, schools, and homes.” 

This milestone takes ENEC and its subsidiaries another step closer to the halfway mark of its goal to supply up to a quarter of the country’s electricity needs 24/7 while driving reductions in carbon emissions — the leading cause of climate change.

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi was established as part of the UAE's efforts to diversify its energy sector. 

When completed Barakah, which is being built by Korea Electric Power Corp., will have four reactors with 5,600 MW of total capacity — equivalent to around 25 percent of the UAE’s peak demand.

“The Barakah Plant continues to set new benchmarks for future nuclear programs. The cumulative knowledge and expertise developed by the operations teams on Unit 1 have been used to connect Unit 2 to the grid more efficiently, with a 10 percent reduction in the time between start-up and connection while in parallel, ensuring the highest standards of nuclear safety and operational excellence continue to be applied,” the company said.

The plant is one of the largest nuclear energy plants in the world, with four APR-1400 units. Construction of the facility began in 2012 and has progressed steadily ever since. Units 1 is now producing thousands of megawatts of clean electricity around the clock. Units 3 and 4 are in the final stages of commissioning at 95 percent and 91 percent complete respectively, benefitting from the experience and lessons learned during the construction of Units 1 and 2.


Saudi tourism minister urges global coordination to tackle omicron


Saudi tourism minister urges global coordination to tackle omicron

Updated 23 sec ago

Saudi tourism minister urges global coordination to tackle omicron


Saudi tourism minister urges global coordination to tackle omicron


CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister on Wednesday called for a coordinated international response to omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus.

“The lesson of the pandemic is that we need more international coordination and a greater recognition of the critical role of tourism in our economies,” Ahmed Al-Khateeb wrote on his official Twitter account. 

The minister called on the UN’s World Tourism Organization to address the latest strain. He also warned against the new variant’s impact on the Kingdom’s tourism sector. 

“Over the last few months, I have met with more than 100 tourism ministers (from around the world), and we share a consensus that the sector needs stronger support and international coordination,” he added. 

Saudi Arabia confirmed its first case of omicron on Wednesday. A passenger coming from a North African country was tested positive for the new strain.


OPEC+ sees worsening oil surplus Q1, 2022 - document

OPEC+ sees worsening oil surplus Q1, 2022 - document
Updated 4 min 31 sec ago

OPEC+ sees worsening oil surplus Q1, 2022 - document

OPEC+ sees worsening oil surplus Q1, 2022 - document

LONDON: OPEC+ sees the oil surplus worsening to 2 million barrels per day in January, 3.4 million bpd in February and 3.8 million bpd in March next year, an internal report seen by Reuters showed.

"Generally, the impact of Omicron seems to be jet-fuel related for now, particularly in Africa and Europe," the report said.


NY-based crypto firm plans to raise $500m in debt

NY-based crypto firm plans to raise $500m in debt
Updated 28 min 28 sec ago

NY-based crypto firm plans to raise $500m in debt

NY-based crypto firm plans to raise $500m in debt

CAIRO: Galaxy Digital, a New York-based crypto investment company, intends to raise $500 million in the debt market, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The firm seeks to utilize the funds to expand the business.

“Galaxy is seeking to become the Goldman Sachs of crypto,” Financial Times reported on behalf of Novogratz, a former Fortress Investment Group executive.

“The company is growing quickly, with net income rising in the third quarter to $517 million, from $41.5 million in the same three months last year,” he added.

Galaxy detailed that the deal will only serve persons who qualify as professional investors.

The convertible note deal is expected to close this year, subject to Toronto Stock Exchange approval, where Galaxy’s shares are listed.

 


OPEC+ starts two days of talks amid oil price gyrations, Omicron fears

OPEC+ starts two days of talks amid oil price gyrations, Omicron fears
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 38 min 41 sec ago

OPEC+ starts two days of talks amid oil price gyrations, Omicron fears

OPEC+ starts two days of talks amid oil price gyrations, Omicron fears
  • But some analysts have suggested OPEC+ might put its plans to add 400,000 bpd to supply in January on hold

OPEC and its allies begin two days of meetings on Wednesday to decide whether to release more oil into the market or restrain supply amid big gyrations in crude prices and uncertainty about the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on energy demand.


Oil prices fell to near $70 a barrel on Tuesday, after hitting a three-year high above $86 in October, posting their biggest monthly decline in November since the start of the pandemic, as the new variant raised fears of a glut.


In November, Brent fell by 16.4 percent, while US crude fell 20.8 percent, the biggest monthly fall since March 2020.

Both contracts rebounded sharply on Wednesday, gaining about 5 percent.


Iraqi oil minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said he expected the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, to extend existing output policy in the short term, the state news agency reported.


OPEC+ ministers, including those from the group’s biggest producers Russia and Saudi Arabia, have said there was no need for a knee-jerk reaction to amend policy.


Since August, the group has been adding an additional 400,000 barrels per day of output to global supply, as it gradually winds down record cuts agreed in 2020, when demand cratered because of the pandemic.


Algerian energy minister Mohamed Arkab said on Tuesday that OPEC+ would supply the global market with enough oil but urged caution about the impact of the Omicron variant, Algerian state news agency APS reported.


“The threat to oil demand is genuine,” said Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy. “Another wave of lockdowns could result in up to 3 million bpd of oil demand lost in the first quarter of 2022.”


But Goldman Sachs said the oil price slide in recent days had been excessive, with the market now pricing in a 7 million bpd hit to demand.


Adding pressure to prices, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank was likely to discuss speeding up its reduction of bond purchases amid a strong economy and expectations that a surge in inflation would persist.


OPEC meets on Wednesday at 1300 GMT. That meeting will be followed on Thursday by a gathering of the wider OPEC+ group.


A delegate from the OPEC+ alliance said Wednesday’s OPEC meeting “should be straightforward.” 


But some analysts have suggested OPEC+ might put its plans to add 400,000 bpd to supply in January on hold.


Even before concerns about Omicron emerged, the group had been weighing the effects of last week’s announcement by the United States and other countries to release emergency crude reserves to temper energy prices.


OPEC+ has been gradually scaling back last year’s record output cuts of 10 million bpd, equivalent to about 10 percent of global supply. About 3.8 million bpd of cuts are still in place.


But OPEC’s November oil output has again undershot the level planned, as some OPEC producers have struggled to hike output, a Reuters survey found, after years of low investment and amid global pressures to reduce fossil fuel use.


Nasdaq Inc. to shift to Amazon cloud in 2022

Nasdaq Inc. to shift to Amazon cloud in 2022
Updated 45 min 12 sec ago

Nasdaq Inc. to shift to Amazon cloud in 2022

Nasdaq Inc. to shift to Amazon cloud in 2022

RIYADH: Nasdaq Inc., the multinational financial services corporation that owns and operates three stock exchanges in the US, plans to switch over to Amazon Web Services cloud to reduce costs, Bloomberg reported.

The initiative will involve moving massive amounts of the exchange’s data to the third-party cloud-based service, outsourcing storage and processing capabilities from AWS Outposts.

The migration will take place in phases. The exchange is expected to kickoff cloud trading next year, beginning with Nasdaq MRX, with a long-term plan to host over 25 markets by 2030.

 “The roll-out will happen over a multi-step testing period to ensure existing Nasdaq customers are comfortable with the transition,” Tal Cohen, executive vice president and head of North American markets at NYSE, stated.

 Earlier this month, CME Group Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google struck a deal to move and start trading derivatives data on Google Cloud.