The commissioning of the federal $24.4bn Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi has been delayed until the end of 2019 or early 2020, according to the operator of the plant, Nawah Energy Company.

Operation of the first 1.4GW reactor had already been pushed back from the originally planned 2017 start-up date to 2018, and has now been delayed until late 2019 at the earliest. MEED reported in March that commercial operation of the Arab World’s first nuclear plant was likely to be delayed until 2019.

Construction work on the first reactor was completed last year, but it cannot go online it has received an operating licence from the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

MEED reported in July 2017 that Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), lead developer for the nuclear plant, had turned over the plant systems for the first reactor to Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) to test to test and commission the plant in preparation for commercial operation.

The Barakah nuclear plant will have a total generation capacity of 5.6GW when fully commissioned. Construction on the first reactor began in 2012.