Baraka Nuclear Power Plant

06 January 2013

Four reactors are planned, each 1.4GW, to help meet the UAE’s anticipated increase in power demand

Barakah unit 1 concrete pouring

Key Facts

  • Owner Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec)
  • Location UAE, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
  • Status Execution
  • Classification Nuclear Power Plant, Power Generation
  • Contract ($m) $11,600m
  • Contract Type Build Operate Transfer (BOT)
  • Main Contract Completion Q1 2020
  • Contact the project owner (MEED Projects subscribers only)


In December 2009, the UAE awarded the contract to build its first nuclear power plants to a South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) over the French and US-led bids.

Four reactors are being built on a site between Abu Dhabi and Ruwais. Each of the 1.4GW plants are expected to help meet the UAE’s anticipated increase in power demand in the coming decades. Current predictions are that the UAE’s electricity requirements will rise from 15.5 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to 40GW in 2020.

In July 2012, construction work began on the Barakah unit 1 reactor. Prior to that, excavation work for the first two reactors was completed. Work underway now includes concrete pouring for the reactor containment building, auxiliary building, turbine building and cooling water structures, along with the fabrication and installation of the reactor building’s containment liner plate.

As of November 2012, Kepco said it had completed almost 23 per cent of the construction work for units 1 and 2, and was running eight weeks ahead of schedule.

It will take five years to complete Barakah Unit 1, and the reactor is expected to be operational in 2017.

Financial closure for the four reactors is expected before the end 2012, with $2bn expected to come from the Export-Import Bank of the US (US Exim) and $10bn expected from South Korea’s Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim). Additional funds will come from commercial banks and the government of Abu Dhabi.

Key upcoming dates for this project includes:

  • 2013: Begins concrete pouring for unit 2
  • 2014: Six companies will supply fuel to Enec in a $3bn, 15 year contract. These are ConverDyn (US), Uranium One (Canada), Urenco (UK), Rio Tinto (UK), Tenex (Russia) and Areva (France).
  • 2015: Enec will apply for an operating licence for Units 1 and 2
  • 2017: Unit 1 goes online; Enec will apply for an operating licence for Units 3 and 4
  • 2018: Unit 2 goes online
  • 2019: Unit 3 goes online
  • 2020: Unit 4 goes online

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