Four units at UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant (photo credit: ENEC)Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office and Chairman of the Executive Committee of ADNOC’s Board of Directors, on 26 October launched a clean energy partnership between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company). 

The strategic partnership, which is the largest of its kind in the oil and gas industry, will see up to 100% of ADNOC’s grid power supplied by EWEC’s nuclear and solar energy sources, making ADNOC the first major oil and gas company to decarbonise its power at scale through a clean power agreement. Simultaneously, EWEC will benefit from long-term electricity offtake for its current and future renewable and clean power sources, which include solar and nuclear power, enabling continued investment in transformative innovations to decarbonise the energy sector.

This progressive approach supports the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and enhances ADNOC’s pathway to decarbonisation while enabling sustainable future growth. It also underpins the UAE’s bold and strategic approach to enable a lower carbon future, ADNOC said.

The agreement was signed by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNOC, and Mohamed Hassan Al-Suwaidi, Chairman of EWEC. 

On the refined products side, the new partnership will further reduce the carbon intensity of ADNOC products. For example, ADNOC is a large producer of aviation fuel, which is sold to customers both locally and globally. The new clean energy agreement will lower the carbon intensity of ADNOC’s aviation fuel, positioning it as one of the lowest carbon intensity Jet-A1 fuels available and an important enabler of ongoing de-carbonisation efforts in the aviation sector. 

As part of the partnership, the clean energy supplied to ADNOC will be validated via I-REC Clean Energy Certificates registered by EWEC.

EWEC has a growing portfolio of renewable and clean energy projects, led by Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single-site solar power plant. Noor Abu Dhabi produces approximately 1.2 gigawatts of power resulting in a carbon footprint reduction of 1 million metric tons per year, which is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road. EWEC is also developing the Al Dhafra Solar PV IPP project, which will be the new world’s largest single-site solar power plant, using approximately 4 million solar panels to generate enough electricity for approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE. Upon full commercial operation, Al Dhafra Solar PV is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 2.4 million metric tons per year, equivalent to removing approximately 470,000 cars from the road.

In addition, EWEC is supporting the integration of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to the Abu Dhabi grid. Once all four nuclear reactors are fully operational, the Barakah Plant will prevent the release of up to 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced on 4 November that it had successful completion of the construction of Barakah 3. The unit has now been handed over for operational readiness activities and is on track to start up and deliver clean electricity in 2023. It will join unit 1, which is fully operational and Barakah unit 2 which is connected to the UAE grid and undergoing testing while raising power levels.

Photo: Four units at UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant (photo credit: ENEC)