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|16 January, 2019

Saudi's Energy Minister visits Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

As of the end of November 2018, the overall construction completion rate for the Barakah plant is more than 91%

ABU DHABI- Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has expressed his appreciation of the significant development of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, and commended the Emirati workforce who are highly skilled in the nuclear sector and committed to developing their skills and knowledge.

Al-Falih and his delegation were received at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant by Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ENEC; Nasser Al Nasseri, CEO of Barakah One Company; Mark Reddemann, CEO of Nawah Energy Company; and a number of senior management officials from ENEC and its subsidiaries. During their visit, the Saudi Minister and the delegation were briefed on the latest developments of the Barakah Plant - located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi Emirate - and the operational readiness activities that are ongoing at Unit 1, for which construction was completed in May 2018, as well as ENEC’s Emiratisation and human capital development programmes.

The briefings also highlighted ENEC’s efforts to engage with local companies in order to develop a local nuclear energy supply chain – a key component in developing a sustainable peaceful nuclear energy programme. The delegation also visited the Turbine Building, the Station Reactor Building, and the Main Control Room of Unit 1. Expressing his admiration for the progress achieved at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, Al-Falih said, "The success achieved at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant reinforced our belief in our capability to build two nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.

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In addition, we believe there is the potential for collaboration between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in regulatory, operational, and security matters." "One of the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 is the peaceful use of nuclear energy, especially for electricity generation and medical use. We will start using nuclear energy in electricity generation in Saudi Arabia through building two nuclear reactors in the next decade," he continued.

In turn, Al Hammadi said, "At ENEC, we welcome opportunities for collaboration and cooperation with our counterparts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it is important to exchange knowledge and share expertise in the nuclear energy sector, which remains relatively new in the Arab World. Currently, the workforce of ENEC and its subsidiaries, the Nawah Energy Company and Barakah One Company, is comprised of experts from over 40 countries, demonstrating our commitment to combining local and international talent to deliver the UAE Program in line with the highest national and international standards." "The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is being developed according to the highest international standards for quality and safety. The project has achieved many milestones due to our adherence to these standards and our cooperation with the various parties involved, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Association of Nuclear Operators, our Prime Contractor and Joint Venture Partner the Korea Electric Power Corporation, and other subcontractors and partners," he added.

The Barakah project is progressing steadily, with Unit 2 more than 94 percent complete, Unit 3 more than 86 percent complete, and Unit 4 more than 78 percent complete. As of the end of November 2018, the overall construction completion rate for the Barakah plant is more than 91 percent. The four Units, once operational, will provide around 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity needs while preventing the release of 21 million tons of carbon emissions annually, equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars from the nation’s roads.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.