The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has announced that its operations and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), has connected unit 3 of the Barakah NPP to the UAE’s transmission grid. Unit 3, which started up in September, will supply an additional 1,400MWe to the grid in addition to units 1&2 which together supply 2,800MWe.  

Enec Managing Director and CEO Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, said: “Our leadership’s long-term vision and decisions more than 13 years ago are paying dividends today as we celebrate another proud moment for the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme.” He noted that electricity from unit 3 will replace the need to burn $4bn worth of gas “which can be diverted for export, and through Clean Energy Certification, gives many companies in the UAE a unique competitive advantage”.

Following grid connection, the Korean-designed APR-1400 unit will undergo the process of gradually raising power levels, known as power ascension testing, or PAT. The process will be continuously monitored and tested until maximum electricity production is reached while adhering to all local regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security, Enec said.

"The swift progress being made at Barakah demonstrates the UAE's extensive megaproject capabilities with clean electricity helping to power homes, businesses, high-tech industries and ensuring the energy security and the resilience of the UAE grid for at least the next 60 years,” Al Hammadi noted. “Nuclear energy is an essential component of the UAE's Net Zero 2050 Strategy, guaranteeing energy security and tackling climate change at the same time."

Work to construct the four-unit Barakah plant began in 2012. Unit 1 started up and was connected to the grid in 2020, followed by unit 2 in 2021. Both those units are now in full commercial operation. Unit 4 is in the final stages of commissioning. Once all four units are operating, they will contribute up to 25% of the UAE's National Determined Contributions to Net Zero and be the largest source of dispatchable clean electricity.

Image: Barakah 3 has now been connected to the UAE's transmission grid (courtesy of ENEC)