Barakah nuclear power plant, United Arab Emirates – update

Black and white image of the Barakah NPP

Photo by EWEC

29th March 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Barakah nuclear power plant (NPP).

The western region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on the Arabian Gulf, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Project Owner/s
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC).

Project Description
The project involves the construction of the UAE’s first nuclear energy plant comprising four APR1400 nuclear reactors.

The APR1400 is a pressurised water reactor and every unit produces up to 1 400 MW of electricity. The reactors have an operational life span of 60 years.

When fully operational, the four units will produce 5.6 GW of electricity while preventing the release of more than 21-million tons of carbon emissions every a year.

Potential Job Creation
ENEC’s workforce of more than 1 700 employees will increase to about 2 500 to operate and maintain the plant.

Capital Expenditure
The project is valued at about $20-billion.

Planned Start/End Date
Construction on Unit 1 started in July 2012, with grid connection achieved in August 2020 and full power in December 2020. In April 2021, Barakah Unit 1 was declared commercially operational.

Construction on Unit 2 started in May 2013 and was completed in July 2020; commercial operations started in March 2022. Construction of Unit 3 started in September 2014; commercial operations started in early 2023. Construction on Unit 4 started in September 2015.

Latest Developments
ENEC announced on March 23 that its operations and maintenance subsidiary Nawah Energy Company had safely and successfully connected Unit 4 of the Barakah NPP to the UAE’s transmission grid. Grid connection signifies the delivery of the first megawatts of carbon-free electricity from the fourth reactor of the NPP.

The fourth unit is nearing the start of commercial operations. Following grid connection, Unit 4 will undergo the process of gradually raising power levels, known as power ascension testing. The process will be continuously monitored and tested until maximum electricity production is reached while adhering to all local regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security.

Every unit has been connected to the grid more efficiently than the previous unit, as institutional knowledge and experience are applied to every subsequent unit. Unit 3 was delivered four months faster than Unit 2, and five months faster than the Unit 1, demonstrating the significant benefit of building multiple units within a phased timeline. 

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Korean Electric Power Corporation (design, build and operate four 1 400 MW nuclear power reactors).

Contact Details for Project Information
ENEC, tel +971 2 659 5555 or email

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Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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