Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation subsidiary Nawah Energy has successfully started up Unit 4 at the Barakah nuclear energy plant in the UAE.

The milestone marks the initial production of heat through nuclear fission, a critical step in generating electricity.

Unit 4 is set to connect to the national electricity grid in March/April 2024. It will undergo a phase of rigorous testing to raise its output incrementally until it reaches full power and contributes to the Barakah plant’s 5.6GW of capacity.

This will provide 25% of the UAE’s electricity demand with zero-carbon emission electricity.

Barakah is the first multi-unit operational nuclear plant in the Arab world.

ENEC managing director and CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi stated: “The start-up of the fourth unit of the Barakah nuclear energy plant is a significant achievement as we now enter into a new era to deliver the full promise of the Barakah plant.

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“In the past five years, the UAE has added more clean electricity per capita than any other nation globally, with 75% coming solely from the Barakah plant, demonstrating how pivotal nuclear energy is in decarbonising the country’s power sector.

“The knowledge and expertise of our local teams position us well ahead of the curve, setting the nation on a pioneering course towards sustainable economic and environmental prosperity. Our journey reflects a bold vision, coupled with rigorous standards of quality and safety, to effectively deploy civil nuclear energy as a proven, viable solution for tackling energy security and climate change.”

In September 2022, Nawah Energy commenced work on the third unit of the UAE’s 5.6GW plant.