Emi­rati nu­clear en­ergy ex­perts have achieved a num­ber of suc­cesses and con­tinue to gain knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence

Utilities Middle East - - CONTENTS -

UAE Na­tional pro­fes­sion­als have been lead­ing the na­tion’s Peace­ful Nu­clear En­ergy Pro­gram from its in­cep­tion and are quickly be­com­ing global lead­ers in the in­dus­try

Since its in­cep­tion in 2009, the UAE Peace­ful Nu­clear En­ergy Pro­gram has suc­cess­fully achieved count­less mile­stones. The most re­cent cel­e­bra­tion marked the con­struc­tion com­ple­tion of the first of four units at the Barakah Nu­clear En­ergy Plant, com­pleted in only 69 months. The UAE is now the first Arab na­tion to de­velop peace­ful nu­clear en­ergy.

Led by lo­cal Emi­rati ex­perts, work­ing to­gether with the Prime Con­trac­tor and Joint Ven­ture part­ner – Korea Elec­tric Power Cor­po­ra­tion (KEPCO) and in­ter­na­tional ex­perts, the suc­cess­ful con­struc­tion com­ple­tion of Barakah Unit 1 was achieved through con­tin­u­ous hard work and ded­i­ca­tion, and was de­liv­ered to the high­est in­ter­na­tional stan­dards of qual­ity and safety.

A key as­pect of the suc­cess of the UAE Pro­gram is the fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment. From the on­set, the UAE es­tab­lished a strong pol­icy based on the prin­ci­ples of safety, se­cu­rity and in­ter­na­tional trans­parency, and com­mit­ting to non-pro­lif­er­a­tion. This ap­proach laid the foun­da­tions for pro­mot­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of a sus­tain­able nu­clear en­ergy in­dus­try in the coun­try, in­clud­ing the qual­i­fi­ca­tion of lo­cal sup­pli­ers to ful­fill the high stan­dards for the man­u­fac­tur­ing of nu­clear-grade steel, con­crete, ca­bles and other ma­te­ri­als, as well as the train­ing and li­cens­ing of lo­cal nu­clear en­ergy pro­fes­sion­als.

“The UAE Pro­gram’s suc­cess can be at­trib­uted to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the best strate­gies, ap­proaches and plans from the ini­tial phases of this project, as well as the na­tion’s close co­op­er­a­tion with renowned lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and ex­perts, es­pe­cially those from South Korea,” says Ali Al Zaabi, Act­ing Chief Op­er­a­tions Of­fi­cer (COO) of the Emi­rates Nu­clear En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion (ENEC), the com­pany im­ple­ment­ing the UAE Peace­ful Nu­clear En­ergy Pro­gram and build­ing the Barakah plant in Al Dhafra Re­gion of Abu Dhabi.

“De­spite be­ing one of the new­est coun­tries to de­velop a peace­ful nu­clear en­ergy sec­tor and in­dus­try, the UAE has suc­ceeded in set­ting new stan­dards and bench­marks in the de­vel­op­ment of peace­ful nu­clear en­ergy and con­struc­tion of a nu­clear en­ergy plant a sta­tus confirmed by lead­ing in­ter­na­tional ex­perts, tech­ni­cians and en­gi­neers who have vis­ited the Barakah site and re­viewed the ad­vanced setup and state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties and pro­ce­dures,” Al Zaabi con­tin­ues.

Achieve­ments such as the com­ple­tion of con­struc­tion for Barakah Unit 1 stem from ENEC’s com­mit­ment and ad­here to the high­est in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, and from the tremen­dous ef­forts of a num­ber of tal­ented UAE na­tion­als who have con­trib­uted to both the de­vel­op­ment of this unique project as well as its in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion. ENEC’s en­deav­ors have re­ceived con­sis­tent sup­port from the UAE’s lead­er­ship, who rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of de­vel­op­ing lo­cal hu­man cap­i­tal as a part of the na­tion’s tran­si­tion to a knowl­edge-based econ­omy.

Al Zaabi is a prime ex­am­ple of the suc­cess of the Pro­gram. Cur­rently the Act­ing COO of ENEC, he joined the com­pany and the Pro­gram in 2009, as an en­gi­neer for the Barakah project Hold­ing a Mas­ter’s de­gree in En­gi­neer­ing Sys­tems Man­age­ment and a Bach­e­lor’s in Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing, he even­tu­ally be­come ENEC’s Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor for Project and Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment.

Al Zaabi is one of the UAE’s lead­ing nu­clear pro­fes­sion­als who has played a key role through­out the var­i­ous phases of over­see­ing and de­vel­op­ing the Barakah Nu­clear En­ergy Plant. With 18 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in fields in­clud­ing nu­clear en­ergy, oil, gas and petro­chem­i­cals, Al Zaabi has en­sured that the

The UAE has suc­ceeded in set­ting new stan­dards and bench­marks in the de­vel­op­ment of peace­ful nu­clear en­ergy and con­struc­tion of a nu­clear en­ergy plant.” Ali Al Zaabi, ENEC

two teams, as well as a smooth flow of in­for­ma­tion and the trans­fer of Korea’s ex­ten­sive nu­clear en­ergy knowl­edge and ex­per­tise to the UAE. Al Zaabi’s ef­forts have had a sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive im­pact on the suc­cess of the UAE Peace­ful Nu­clear En­ergy Pro­gram.

Al Zaabi high­lights the im­por­tance of build­ing nu­clear en­ergy ex­per­tise in the

UAE: “One of the most im­por­tant achieve­ments of the UAE Peace­ful Nu­clear En­ergy Pro­gram has been the op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated for Emi­ratis to gain the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence to be­come the na­tion’s next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers. This is just one of the many ben­e­fits that has al­ready ma­te­ri­al­ized as ENEC works to com­plete the Barakah Nu­clear En­ergy Plant and de­liver clean and re­li­able en­ergy to sup­port the eco­nomic and so­cial growth of the na­tion”.

“The decades of ex­pe­ri­ence that KEPCO has in con­struc­tion and oper­a­tion of nu­clear en­ergy plants is in­valu­able to us and the

UAE Pro­gram has ben­e­fit­ted greatly from the knowl­edge trans­fer from Korea. We are al­ready us­ing our own ex­pe­ri­ence, gained from the con­struc­tion and com­mis­sion­ing of Unit 1, and ap­ply­ing the lessons learned to the other three Units that make up the Barakah plant. ENEC also con­trib­utes sig­nif­i­cantly to the global nu­clear en­ergy in­dus­try by shar­ing these lessons with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” said Al Zaabi.

ENEC and its op­er­a­tional sub­sidiary Nawah En­ergy Com­pany have brought in the best in­ter­na­tional nu­clear ex­per­tise to be part of the ex­ec­u­tive team that is lead­ing the UAE Peace­ful Nu­clear En­ergy Pro­gram. This sup­ports the fur­ther en­hance­ment of the per­for­mance and ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, in line with the UAE’s com­mit­ment to the high­est stan­dards of safety, qual­ity and se­cu­rity.

ENEC and its sub­sidiary com­pa­nies cur­rently em­ploy over 2,800 peo­ple, around 60 per­cent of them are Emi­rati pro­fes­sion­als. Ali Al Zaabi is an ex­am­ple to fol­low for UAE nu­clear en­ergy ex­perts as the na­tion con­tin­ues to suc­cess­fully demon­strate the ca­pa­bil­ity of lead­ing one of the most so­phis­ti­cated and chal­leng­ing in­dus­tries in the world.

Ali Al Zaabi ENEC COO (act­ing).

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