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