Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (ENEC) maintenance subsidiary Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) has started Unit II of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Located in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, Unit II has come online one year after the start-up of Unit 1, and within five months of commercial operations of Unit I.

Nawah, a joint venture company of ENEC and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), has safely completed comprehensive testing programme, prior to the start-up of the second nuclear energy reactor of the Barakah Plant.

With the starting of Unit II, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has now become the first multi-unit plant in the region providing emissions-free electricity.

UAE’s independent nuclear regulator Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and the World Association of Nuclear Operator (WANO) have also confirmed Nawah’s operational maturity to run multiple units at Barakah Plant.

Over the coming months, Unit II will be linked to the national electricity grid, and the nuclear operators will focus on the process of gradually increasing the power levels through a process called power ascension testing (PAT).

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By starting Unit II and Unit I at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, ENEC is leading the decarbonisation effort in the UAE region.

ENEC will power businesses and households in the region using the clean energy generated by the power plant.

Once all the four units are fully operational, the power plant will have the capacity to generate 5.6GW of electricity, while displacing more than 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

ENEC CEO Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi said: “We have reached another major milestone in the delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program today, as part of our journey to power the UAE with clean, abundant 24/7 electricity.

“The Barakah Plant supports the sustainable growth and prosperity of the Nation. With the start-up of Unit 2, we are now almost halfway to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our Nation’s electricity needs and enabling sustainable growth and in parallel, achieving UAE climate change targets.”