Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Moon Jae-in, President of Korea, today attended a celebration to mark the completion of the UAE's first nuclear reactor with a visit to the Barakah power plant.
The plant is the first in the Arab world, and is part of the UAE's effort to curb its reliance on fossil fuels and to adopt cleaner sources of energy.
Sheikh Mohammed, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, took to Twitter to thank the president for his country's cooperation in the project and said their work together showed a "model relationship".
Unit 1 of the Barakah complex will begin loading fuel in May, according to a statement from the Ministry that was emailed to Bloomberg, although it is not yet clear when it will start generating power.
In December 2009, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation awarded the contract for the Middle East’s first nuclear power plant to a consortium of South Korean companies headed by the Korean Electric Power Company, said to be worth US$20 billion.
South Korea’s expertise was essential to the project’s success – its APR-1400 reactor is arguably the most advanced in the world, with a design life of 60 years.
Unit 1 is the first of four such reactors that are planned for operation by 2021, Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said in September.
It is estimated that, when completed, the plants will produce a combined 5,600 megawatts of power, contributing almost 25 per cent of the nation’s electricity.
The nuclear energy plant is situated three hours and nearly 300 kilometres west from the centre of Abu Dhabi.
Power for the people: Clean, safe and environmentally friendly, the UAE's first nuclear power station is about to transform the country's energy supply