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May 11, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Fuel assemblies at Barakah’s unit 1 concluded – NPTC’s thermal facilities reach PLF

By Ilaria Grasso Macola

11 May

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has concluded the loading of fuel assemblies into unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear energy plant despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. ENEC chief Mohamed al-Hammadi said this unit will reach criticality very soon. Seven hundred people are working on the project to meet the deadline. “Testing is also continuing at units 2, 3 and 4, following the completion of all major construction work,” added al-Hammadi.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its new study report has said that the global clean energy sector would need a consistent supply of critical minerals to continue a hassle-free progress post Covid-19. Compared to fossil fuel-based counterparts, clean energy technologies usually need more minerals. “Even in fossil fuel-based technologies, achieving higher efficiency and lower emissions relies on the extensive use of minerals. For example, the most efficient coal-fired power plants require a lot more nickel than the least efficient ones in order to allow for higher combustion temperatures,” the report added.

India’s state-owned utility NTPC has said that its three thermal power facilities have achieved 100% power load factor (PLF) after a surge in demand as the federal government eased restriction on select industrial and economic activities recently. These three facilities, located at Vindhyachal in Madhya Pradesh, Talcher Kaniha in Odisha and Sipat in Chhattisgarh, account for 17% of the company’s total capacity.

Industry experts in India believe that disruption in supply from the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing dip in domestic solar capacity addition present a good opportunity for local solar modules and cells manufacturers. The industry representative also called for a pressing need for a national vision policy for local solar modules manufacturing as well as ancillary products. Tata Power Solar CEO Ashish Khanna told PTI: “We’ve world-class technology, but we don’t have scale like China. For manufacturing to succeed, we need a policy framework that ensures long term off-takes at sustainable prices.”

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