Developed jointly by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) in the Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, Barakah nuclear power plant is the first nuclear power station in the United Arab Emirates and in the Arabian Peninsula and the first commercial nuclear power station in the Arab World.
It consists of four Advanced Power Reactor (APR)-1400 nuclear reactors, two of which are already complete and operating and the rest at an advanced stage of completion. The Barakah nuclear power plant’s total capacity is 5380 MW, which is intended to supply up to 25% of UAE’s energy needs.
Nawah Energy Company, a joint venture established between ENEC and KEPCO back in 2016, is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the NPP.
Barakah nuclear power plant project team
A Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), Hyundai, Samsung, Doosan, Korea Power Engineering Company (KOPEC), Korea Nuclear Fuel (KNF), and Korea Plant Service and Engineering (KPS) consortium are responsible for the design, construction, and operation of the NPP.
KHNP is also in charge of the operating support services and cooperative businesses, while KEPCO Engineering and Construction (KEPCO E&C) is the subcontract providing plant design, architecture, and engineering works. Doosan on the other hand was entrusted with the construction and management of the nuclear steam supply system (NSSS), steam generator, and other related components.
Hyundai and Samsung are responsible for the civil engineering works, while Westinghouse Electric Corporation is providing technical assistance and license-related works. KNF will supply nuclear fuel, which will be maintained by KPS.
Hilal Bil Badi and Partners Contracting (HILALCO), was contracted to develop critical water intake structures that will provide cooling water for the turbine condensers and heat exchangers in the turbine generator building. Bechtel provided design and project management support services to KEPCO E&C.
Other firms involved with the project include Emirates Steel, National Cement, Dubai Cable Company, National Marine Dredging Company, and Western Bainoona Group.
The official groundbreaking ceremony for the Barakah nuclear power plant project was held in March.
Construction of the first unit began in July, ahead of its scheduled date late that year, with the laying of the first nuclear safety concrete.
Construction of unit 2 began in May.
ENEC installed the condenser for unit 1 in February and the first reactor vessel (RV) in May of the same year.
In September, the construction of unit 3 began.
In January, the construction of the RCB concrete dome for unit 1 was completed.
The first concrete pouring for unit 4 took place in September.
Financial closure for the US$ 24.4bn nuclear power plant project was achieved in October. Noteworthy, the project is being financed through 80% debt and 20% equity. The debt financing comprises US$ 16.2bn of direct loan from the Abu Dhabi government and a US$ 2.5bn loan facility from the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM).
By November, the main concrete works and heavy lifting for units 2, 3, and 4 were completed.
Fuel loading into the first reactor unit was completed in March.
In the same month construction of units 2, 3, and 4 was reportedly in the final stages. Unit 2 was over 95% complete, unit 3 was over 91% complete and unit 4 was more than 83%.
In April, unit 1 of the NPP started commercial operations.
The second unit began supplying electricity to the country’s power grid in September of the same year. At the time units, 3 and 4 were in the final stages of commissioning at 95% and 91% completion, respectively, with the construction of the plant as a whole more than 96% complete.