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Sun 24 May 2020 10:15 AM

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UAE adding nuclear to portfolio of energy sources

Nuclear power will free up oil and gas fossil fuels, says Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation

UAE adding nuclear to portfolio of energy sources

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant holds four reactors and will be able to provide a quarter of the country’s energy needs when fully operational.

The UAE has turned to nuclear power in order to free up oil and gas fossil fuels to be used in other areas to benefit the country, according to Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC).

In an interview with CNN’s John Defterios as part of a report for The Global Energy Challenge, Al Hammadi said that oil and gas can be put to greater use than simply to burn electricity and that nuclear can help with the country’s energy requirements.

He said: “Oil and fossil fuel have been used for decades. Hydrocarbons are used everywhere in our lives – in mobile, plastics in your car, everywhere. Oil has a better use than to be used to burn electricity.

“We need renewable, we need nuclear, we need fossil fuel to create a basket, a portfolio of energies that’s resilient from an energy security point of view and also from the economics point of view.”

ENEC recently completed the Cold Hydrostatic Testing (CHT) at Unit 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, which holds four reactors and will be able to provide a quarter of the country’s energy needs when fully operational.

The nuclear plant, 50km southwest of Ruwais in the Al Dhafra region, is the first such facility in the Arab world.

“This is one of the biggest commercial industrial facility that the country has built,” said Al Hammadi. “This source of energy will provide 25 percent of electricity for the nation. It will avoid us emitting 21 million tons of CO2 emissions on an annual basis, so that will dramatically change the footprint from a CO2 on carbon to decarbonisation for the UAE.”

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