H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi highlights latest insights on key considerations for new build nuclear programs during Atlantic Council conference in Washington DC, USA


His Excellency (H.E.) Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) highlighted his views on nuclear energy strategy and financing during the first annual nuclear energy conference in Washington DC, United States. H.E. was joined by Dr. Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, Mr. Cosmin Ghita, Chief Executive Officer of Nuclearelectrica and Mr. RafaƂ Kasprów, Chief Executive Officer of Orlen-Synthos Green Energy on a panel discussion held under the theme of “Financing Considerations for Building New Nuclear’. The session was moderated by Dr. Jennifer Gordon, the Director of the Nuclear Energy Policy Initiative, Atlantic Council.

H.E. Al Hammadi said: “Back in 2008, when conditions were similar to what is happening today with high oil prices, the UAE took the initiative to develop plans to diversify its energy portfolio, to depend on more reliable and clean resources to ensure energy security and sustainability. The UAE was the first in the Arab World to generate clean electricity using nuclear technology and at the same time hosts 70% of all renewable energy investments in the region”.

H.E. Al Hammadi spoke about the key considerations for starting a new nuclear program and the success story of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. He highlighted how the UAE took a long-term, data-driven, realistic approach to developing nuclear energy, with the aim of guaranteeing energy security and driving rapid decarbonization of the power sector. The UAE took into account the importance of clear policy commitments, using world-class proven nuclear technology, developing partnerships, creating a sustainable financing model and a human capital development program. All of which the UAE has managed to achieve, ultimately resulting in the Barakah Plant – a benchmark for new nuclear energy projects worldwide.

He highlighted one of the most important factors behind the success story of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program: focusing on public opinion and conducting awareness campaigns about the importance of nuclear energy for economic growth and sustainability. ENEC invested heavily to educate all segments of society, whether in government entities, partners, suppliers or youth in universities and school students.

 “Our visionary UAE leadership put together a long-term strategy to transition to clean energy around 15 years ago. The aim has always been to meet economic requirements and growth, achieve sustainability goals, bridge to new clean technologies and deliver energy security and resilience. Today, the UAE nuclear energy program is preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions annually through commercial operations of Units 1 and 2 of the Barakah Plant. Globally, we know that nuclear has to be part of a diversified clean energy system, which includes oil and gas, solar and other renewables as we progress down the path towards Net Zero. Eight out of ten of the world’s most sustainable nations have nuclear in their generation mix and no other technology apart from nuclear today, can deliver the same level of energy security and large-scale decarbonization,” H.E. Al Hammadi said.

Al Hammadi concluded positively by saying that the future of nuclear energy is promising globally, noting that financing nuclear energy projects first requires confidence, whether it is that of government agencies or the private sector, based on the feasibility of these projects and the unique importance of nuclear energy that provides baseload electricity 24/7. He also shed light on the future opportunities being explored by ENEC, including new generations of reactors, as well as Small Modular Reactors (SMR), and hydrogen production technologies as a new source of carbon-free energy.

ENEC reports that 97% of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant project is now completed. It comprises of four APR1400 reactors – one of the most technologically advanced nuclear reactor designs in the world, each with a 1,400 megawatts of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity. Three units of the Plant have already been connected the UAE’s national grid, two of which are operating commercially. Currently, the Barakah plant enables the UAE to double its LNG exports, with nuclear generation saving the UAE $4 billion in gas costs that would otherwise have been required to generate electricity. Barakah’s four units will reduce national gas consumption in 2030 by between 900-1,200 MMcf per day, equivalent to more than 65 million barrels of oil per year. Nuclear is also supporting the UAE’s plans to become a net exporter of natural gas by the end of the decade.


To watch the full panel discussion, click on this link: https://youtube.com/watch?v=jTUFRXpN99k&feature=share