The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), through its subsidiary nawah Energy Company, has started the third unit of the UAE’s 5.6GW Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

In the coming weeks, the 1.4GW unit will be connected to the UAE’s national grid ahead of its beginning commercial operations.

Earlier this year, Nawah secured a 60-year operating licence from the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), for Unit Three of the Barakah plant.

Located in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region, the Barakah power plant will have a total of four units, each with a capacity of 1.4GW.

The plant’s first two units are currently operating commercially, while Unit Four is in its final commissioning stages.

ENEC managing director and CEO Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi said: “We have reached another major milestone in the delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme today, as we move forwards with the provision of strategically significant clean energy for the UAE.

“The Barakah Plant is spearheading the decarbonisation of the power sector, sustainably generating abundant electricity to meet growing demand and power growth.”

Nawah CEO Ali Al Hammadi said: “Today is another momentous occasion for the Barakah Plant, and we are already increasing power in the reactor, generating more heat and preparing for the delivery of the first megawatts of clean electricity to the grid, in accordance with national regulations and international standards.

“We look forward to the upcoming connection of Unit 3 to the national electricity grid as we work to deliver up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity demand.”

Nawah Energy said it had carried out a ‘comprehensive’ testing programme before starting the Barakah plant’s third reactor.

The company is a joint venture between ENEC and Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco).