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.