Barakah: The Powerhouse Behind a Clean Energy Transition
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This news is classified in: Traditional Energy Nuclear

May 21, 2024

Barakah: The Powerhouse Behind a Clean Energy Transition

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued its nuclear energy policy back in 2008 and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), the UAE’s mandated civil nuclear energy developer, soon began the process for developing its first nuclear energy program. At that time, few people outside the UAE realized how significant this program would become.

The UAE’s population was growing fast and an increasing proportion of its oil and gas output was being consumed for domestic electricity generation. The government also saw the need to diversify the country’s sources of energy supply.

By the end of 2023, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its prime contractor Korea Electric Power Corporation had completed four AP1400 nuclear reactors at Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, which has the capacity to meet up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity. The plant’s four units have operating licenses for 60 years with the possibility of extension. 

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In the context of contemporary nuclear new build, this $24.4 billion program has been an unparalleled success. The UAE has demonstrated to the world how the combination of nuclear and renewables can drive the transition to clean energy.

Unit 1 started up safely and on schedule during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and Unit 2 was delivered less than 12 months later, followed by Unit 3 in 2023 and Unit 4, which is already on line and set to move into commercial operations later in 2024. This progress demonstrated how rapidly the UAE’s nuclear organizations and institutions had absorbed advanced knowledge and developed the ability to apply operational experience to improve performance and efficiency. 

“We will always remain immensely proud of our work proud of our involvement in Barakah, offering our best nuclear talent to support the development of the plant,” says Jacobs Vice President Justin Goldberg.

ENEC is now an important player in the world’s nuclear industry, with plans to develop clean hydrogen and advanced nuclear reactors as part of the UAE’s comprehensive response to the climate crisis.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.