In the Year of Sustainability UAE Takes Significant Leap towards Net Zero 2050 as Unit 3 of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant Starts Commercial Operations


- 3 units delivered in 3 consecutive years to decarbonize the UAE power system, demonstrating excellent project management in parallel with commitment to highest standards

- Barakah is strengthening energy security and powering sustainable economic growth

Marking the UAE's Year of Sustainability and increasing its contribution to achieving the nation’s Net Zero by 2050 targets, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced that its operating and maintenance subsidiary Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) has commenced commercial operations of Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi. As the third unit to be delivered in three consecutive years, this major accomplishment adds a further 1,400 megawatts (MW) of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity, boosting total production from Units 1, 2 and 3 of Barakah to up to 4,200 MW of baseload, reliable, clean electricity 24/7 to the grid.  

Teams at Barakah have reduced the duration from Fuel Load to Commercial Operations for Unit 3 of the Barakah Plant by four months compared to Unit 2, and by more than five months compared to Unit 1, demonstrating how the operations’ teams have utilized and implemented the experience gained from the previous two Units while continuing to adhere to all national regulations and international standards, as confirmed by the assessments of the UAE regulator FANR, and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). Unit 3 has been delivered efficiently and in one of the shortest timeframes compared to other third generation reactors built worldwide, demonstrating a new era for nuclear new build.

Playing a significant role in the UAE’s clean energy transition, ENEC and its subsidiaries are now one unit away from completing the four-unit Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant and realizing its commitment to deliver up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity demands. The first multi-unit operating Plant in the Arab World, Barakah has already powered more than 80 percent of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s clean electricity consumption in December 2022.

His Excellency Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “In the Year of Sustainability for the UAE, we are proud to take the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program another step forward with Unit 3 beginning commercial operations. This has been achieved less than a year after successfully starting commercial operations for Unit 2. Barakah is a successful global benchmark for other nations looking to diversify their energy portfolio during a time of international energy crises. With three Units now operating commercially, we are delivering energy security, powering sustainable economic growth, driving innovation and contributing to achieve our Net Zero strategy by 2050. We look forward to showcasing just how critical nuclear is in tackling climate change, using proven solutions available today, at COP28 in the UAE in November.”

The commercial operations of Unit 3 were commenced with the continuous support of EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company) and the Abu Dhabi Transmission and Dispatch Company (TRANSCO) who ensure that the clean electricity generated at Barakah is delivered to consumers across the UAE in a safe and sustainable manner. EWEC and TRANSCO’s support in maintaining a world-class electric grid infrastructure is critical for the reliable distribution of electricity from the Barakah Plant.

Nasser Al Nasseri, the Chief Executive Officer of Barakah One Company, ENEC’s subsidiary in charge of representing the financial and commercial interests of the Barakah Plant project, said: “Today we celebrate an important day for the delivery of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant project with the commercial operations of Unit 3, and we reaffirm our commitment to clean electricity generation for EWEC. The sale of clean electricity further supports Abu Dhabi’s Clean Energy Certification program, allowing more businesses to demonstrate their sustainability credentials, creating unique competitive advantage, and stimulating the growth of our Net Zero economy”.

Commenting on this milestone, Eng. Ali Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of Nawah, said: “This is a key achievement for Nawah, as we safely and efficiently begin commercial operations for Unit 3, in accordance with national regulations and international standards. Our highly skilled and qualified national and international experts have world-class operating experience to safely provide constant, reliable and sustainable clean electricity around the clock from three parallel operating Units.”

A powerhouse for the nation’s development, energy security and stability, the Plant generates thousands of high-value jobs and stimulates millions of dollars of value for local companies. Barakah provides significant environmental benefits for the nation today, and for the next 60 years and beyond. When fully operational, the Plant will prevent millions of tons of carbon emissions - the leading cause of climate change - every year – and will free up billions of dollars of natural gas annually that would have otherwise been used for electricity generation.