- H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, sat down via video conference with Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, for a virtual fireside chat on COVID-19 and the future of the decarbonized global power system
- H.E. Al Hammadi: ”Over 700 people are working on the Barakah plant project to meet the timeline”
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 09 May 2020: His Excellency Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), recently sat down via video conference with Frederick Kempe, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, during a virtual fireside chat on the progress being made at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on energy systems, and the importance of decarbonized, reliable and secure energy systems in the future.
The online conversation took place on Wednesday, 6 May, 2020 and was held under the theme of ‘COVID-19 and the Future of the Decarbonized Global Power System’. The event forms part of the Atlantic Council’s evolving discussions and analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 and the state of the global energy industry.
H.E. Al Hammadi began by highlighting how the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program has and will continue to power the future social and economic growth of the nation. The Program is simultaneously positioning the UAE at the forefront of global efforts to decarbonize the electricity sector.
“The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the Arab World’s first peaceful nuclear energy plant located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, will change the way the UAE powers its growth,” said H.E. Al Hammadi. “Producing 5.6 gigawatts of electricity while preventing the release of more than 21 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, the Barakah Plant will power the UAE with clean, safe and reliable baseload electricity. It is also providing countless high-value jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain.”
“The Barakah Plant and nuclear energy globally is also directly contributing to the decarbonization of the electricity sector and the growth of electrification. In the UAE alone, the emissions that will be prevented by the operation of the Barakah Plant are equivalent to the removal of 3.2 million cars from the nation’s road annually – this is immensely significant within the context of our efforts to combat global warming and address air pollution challenges around the world,” added H.E. Al Hammadi.
Speaking to the impact of COVID-19, H.E. Al Hammadi said: “In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and following the guidance of the UAE’s leadership, we came together with our partners to swiftly implement a range of measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, as well as our business continuity and ability to continue on schedule with the start-up of Unit 1 at the Barakah Plant. COVID-19 has been a tremendous challenge for all of us, however, I am proud of our teams’ response and fortunate to be able to say that we have not experienced a single positive case of COVID-19 at the Barakah site. Today work is continuing to progress safely and steadily on all four units of the plant.”
H.E. Al Hammadi also highlighted the successful implementation of ENEC’s business continuity program to ensure the continued safe and steady development of the Barakah Plant.
“Following receipt of the Operating License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Reregulation (FANR) and having completed the loading of fuel assemblies into Unit 1’s reactor, we are in the advanced stages of starting—up Unit 1. This Unit will reach criticality very soon, and the COVID-19 pandemic has not derailed our plans. We have 700 employees working on the project to meet the timeline,' said H.E. Al Hammadi. 'Testing is also continuing at Units 2, 3 and 4, following the completion of all major construction work.'