Barakah nuclear energy plant: UAE minister is impressed with progress

Barakah nuclear energy plant: UAE minister is impressed with progress
UAE Energy Minister Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al-Mazrouei tours the Barakah nuclear energy plant.
Updated 26 May 2016

Barakah nuclear energy plant: UAE minister is impressed with progress

Barakah nuclear energy plant: UAE minister is impressed with progress

ABU DHABI: Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al-Mazrouei, UAE minister of energy, was hosted by ENEC’s CEO Mohamed Al-Hammadi and other senior management, during a visit to the Barakah nuclear energy plant.

The minister received an update on the project as well as details of a recent construction milestone at the plant from senior UAE engineers.
The completion of major electrical installation work at Unit 1 represents another milestone in the continued progress from construction to commissioning of the plant at Barakah. Teams from ENEC and its prime contractor the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), have now completed installation of the last piece of major electrical equipment at Unit 1.
During a walking tour of Unit 1, Minister Al-Mazrouei witnessed the progress made and milestones achieved since his last visit in September of last year.
This year alone has seen the energization of the switchyard for Units 1 and 2, the completion of Cold Hydrostatic Testing at Unit 1, the completion of Unit 2’s Reactor Containment Building dome structure, and most recently the completion of major electrical work at Unit 1.
The progress of Barakah was hailed by Minister Al-Mazrouei who said: “I am consistently impressed to see the progress being made at Barakah and the manner in which ENEC continues to deliver with the highest international standards of safety, quality and performance at the very forefront of all its activities. This approach ensures the long-term sustainability of the UAE peaceful nuclear energy program.”
He said: “Nuclear energy will play a critical role in the provision of clean and sustainable energy to power the future of the UAE and diversify the nation’s energy supply.”
The minister also met with some ENEC employees who have come through the Energy Pioneers program — ENEC’s successful human capacity building program that has seen over 400 students study and train in nuclear energy with ENEC’s support.
As part of the completion of major electrical installation at Unit 1, teams from ENEC and KEPCO installed and inspected more than 454 pieces of electrical equipment such as switchgears, motor control centers, and transformers.
During his visit to Barakah, Minister Al-Mazrouei met with members of ENEC’s senior management team and received an update on the company’s program to deliver safe, clean and reliable nuclear electricity.
The visit included an update on ENEC’s Culture of Safety and specific demonstrations on how the organization prioritizes the safety and quality of all work performed at the Barakah site.
ENEC’s CEO Mohamed Al-Hammadi said: “We now have over 19,000 workers at Barakah delivering on our mission to connect safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE. As our program continues to advance, this is a role we take on with great pride and responsibility, and as always, safety remains our overriding priority.”
Since its inception in 2009, ENEC has focused on the safe delivery of the UAE peaceful nuclear energy program, expertly managing the complexity of the site development to ensure that all construction work meets the highest standards of safety and quality.
The UAE’s first nuclear energy plant is located at Barakah in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. Unit 1 is now more than 87 percent complete and all four units are more than 65 percent complete.
ENEC’s team will be responsible for the operations of four nuclear energy units that are expected to provide up to a quarter of our nation’s electricity needs and to save up to 12 million tons of carbon emissions every year.


WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Despite long-term challenges, oil prices remain in healthy range

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Despite long-term challenges, oil prices remain in healthy range
Updated 24 January 2021

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Despite long-term challenges, oil prices remain in healthy range

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Despite long-term challenges, oil prices remain in healthy range

Oil prices have been stable since early January, with Brent crude price hovering around $55. Brent crude closed the week slightly higher at $55.41 per barrel,
while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed slightly lower at $52.27 per barrel.

Oil price movement since early January in a narrow range above $50 is healthy, despite pessimism over an increase in oil demand, while expectations of US President Joe Biden taking steps to revive energy demand growth are
still doubtful. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a hike in US refining utilization to its highest since March 2020, at 82.5 percent. The EIA reported a surprise weekly surge in US commercial crude stocks by 4.4
million barrels. Oil prices remained steady despite the bearish messages sent from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which believes it will take more time for oil demand to recover fully as renewed lockdowns in several countries weighed on oil demand recovery.

The IEA’s January Oil Market Report came as the most pessimistic monthly report among other market bulletins from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and EIA. It forecast oil demand will bounce back to 96.6 million bpd this year, an increase of 5.5 million bpd over 2020 levels.

Though the IEA has lowered its forecast for global oil demand in 2021 due to lockdowns and vaccination challenges, it still expects a sharp rebound in oil consumption in the second half of 2021,
and the continuation of global inventory depletion.

The IEA reported global oil stocks fell by 2.58 million bpd in the fourth quarter of 2020 after preliminary data showed hefty drawdowns toward the end of the year. The IEA reported OECD industry stocks fell for a fourth consecutive month at 166.7
million barrels above the last five-year average. It forecast that global refinery throughput is expected to rebound by 4.5 million bpd in 2021, after a 7.3 million bpd drop in 2020.

The IEA monthly report has led to some short term concern about weakness in the physical crude spot market, and the IEA has acknowledged OPEC’s firm role in stabilizing the market.

Controversially, the IEA believes that a big chunk of shale oil production is profitable at current prices, and hence insinuated that shale oil might threaten OPEC market share.

It also believes that US shale oil producers have quickly responded to oil price gains, winning market share over OPEC producers. However, even if US shale oil drillers added more oil rigs for almost three months in a row, the number of operating rigs is still less than half that of a year ago, at 289 rigs.

The latest figures from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission show that crude futures “long positions” on the New York Mercantile Exchange are at 668,078 contracts, down by 18,414 contracts from the previous week (at 1,000 barrels for each contract).