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UAE connects first unit of Barakah nuclear plant to national grid

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The United Arab Emirates has connected the first unit at its Barakah nuclear power plant to the national power grid, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) said on Wednesday.

The plant in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, is the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world and is part of the Gulf oil producer’s efforts to diversify its energy mix.

Being built by Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), it began start-up operations of its first unit last month.

“The safe and successful connection of Unit 1 to the UAE grid marks the key moment when we begin to deliver on our mission to power the growth of the nation by supplying clean electricity around the clock,” Mohamed Ibrahim al-Hammadi, chief executive of ENEC, said in a statement.

“We are confident in … our technology to continue to progress to reach commercial operations, and the completion of the remaining three units, with the goal to power up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs for at least the next 60 years.”

When completed Barakah will have four reactors with a total 5,600 megawatts (MW) capacity. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is located in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi.

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