ABU DHABI - The Emirates Nuclear Corporation (ENEC) has showcased the critical role of nuclear energy as a global climate change solution at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), held in Abu Dhabi from 17-19 January 2023.
WFES is a key element of the 15th edition of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the leading business event for energy and sustainability that brings together local and global leadership, industry experts and policymakers for inclusive action.
ENEC showcased the continued progress of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, a nation-defining strategic energy infrastructure project, which is spearheading efforts towards achieving UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 target by preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions annually. Today, the Barakah Plant is the largest source of clean electricity in the region.
ENEC’s commitment to international collaboration was further strengthened following the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the visit of President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea to the UAE.
Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, signed a new agreement to establish strategic working groups for a Net Zero Acceleration Programme.
The agreement was signed with the President of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) Cheong Seung-il, and President of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Ju-Ho Hwang, to pave the way for a new era in nuclear energy and clean molecule technologies.
In a wider bilateral agreement, the UAE announced plans to invest US$30 billion in Korea’s industries as the two countries seek to expand economic cooperation.
The UAE is driving sustainable economic development across a range of sectors, and is hosting COP28 this November in Dubai to accelerate climate progress. As COP28 approaches, there is an increased momentum towards investments in nuclear energy as part of international cooperation agreements. Recently, the UK said it expects to reach the inbound investment amount of £10 billion from the UAE in various sectors including nuclear energy, while late last year, the UAE and United States agreed to spend US$100 billion on clean energy projects with a goal of adding 100 gigawatts globally by 2035.
The UAE is recognised as a global nuclear energy success story and an international benchmark in terms of project management and cost-effectiveness. Most recently, ENEC marked grid connection of Unit 3, which achieved start-up last year, just one year after the start-up of Unit 2, showing the significant progress being made at the Plant - the first multi-unit operational nuclear plant in the Arab World. Unit 3 will start commercial operations in the coming months, whilst Unit 4 is in the final stages of commissioning.
The plant is generating thousands of high-value jobs and stimulating the growth of local industries in addition to the significant environmental benefits for the nation over the next 60 years and beyond. The Barakah plant is just the beginning, comprising only 20 percent of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme. The plant is a catalyst for innovation in the clean energy transition, including SMR development and next generation reactors, and a bridge to other clean fuels.
With abundant clean electricity flowing 24/7, ENEC is now focused on exploring and incubating strategic investments in nuclear energy locally and internationally that support the growth and development goals of the UAE. The Barakah Plant is one of the largest nuclear energy plants in the world, with four APR-1400 units, and once fully operational will power up to 570,000 homes as well as support the UAE’s strategy for becoming a net-exporter of LNG by 2030 by replacing local gas consumption.