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UAE's N-programme leadership to serve as example, leave lasting legacy

Khaleej Times 2020-08-01 18:27:28

The UAE's aim to build a environmentally-sustainable nation in the region is shaping up strategically as the nation on Saturday announced the successful operation of the first peaceful nuclear energy reactor in the Arab world at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Station in Abu Dhabi.

With Unit 1 of the power plant operational, the UAE will be the first Arab country to use nuclear energy to meet its sustainable energy needs.

Sustainability has always been the core pillar of the UAE and is a historic project that enhances the UAE's leading role in the global clean energy transition.

"The region needs more energy production to fuel development, and it needs more renewable energy sources that'll be the basis for a greener, more environmentally-sustainable Gulf. The Barakah plant will be to provide up to a quarter of the country's electricity needs, with zero carbon emissions. Once again, the UAE is leading the way in terms of investing in technology, science and engineering that will benefit not just the country but the wider region. The country is showing to the region what is possible when it comes to investing in alternative energy sources," said Ahmed Khashan, cluster president for Gulf countries at Schneider Electric.

The UAE is the first in the Arab world and 33rd internationally to produce clean electricity from nuclear energy.

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation developed the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme according to the highest international standards of safety, security, transparency and nuclear non-proliferation.

The Barakah plant, when fully operational, will generate 25 per cent of the nation's electricity, while preventing the release of 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, which is equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars off the road road.

Leading businesses have hailed the achievement.

Danube Group
Danube Group chairman Rizwan Sajan said it is a big day for the UAE as it joined an elite club of nations using nuclear energy for peaceful purpose.

"The UAE is among one of the fastest growing nations in the world and it requires an environment-friendly resource of energy to meet growing needs of key sectors such as real estate and construction.

"Nuclear power plants provide a stable source of energy and it can work synergistic with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. The reliable and cheap electricity production from the nuclear plants will power the UAE econony in foreseeable future," Sajan said.

He said the development of a nuclear power plant by an oil-exporting country was unthinkable a few years ago. However, the UAE government's decision reflects a far wider vision - to promote sustainable and clean energy.

"It is also reflected in the fact that the world's largest solar power plants are being developed in the UAE, a major crude exporter. It reflects the country's strong focus on environment and sustainable development."

Mulk Holdings
Mulk Holdings chairman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk said the extroadinary vision to establish the Arab world's first nuclear power plant will have a long-term economic impact at local, state and national levels.

"In addition to generating nearly half-a-billion US dollar revenue, there will be various economic multipliers like hundreds of job creation and subsequent increased spending through vendors and workforce giving a much needed economic boost to the UAE," he said.

Jitendra Consulting Group
Jitendra Gianchandani, chairman of Jitendra Consulting Group, said nuclear energy technology will provide emission-free and affordable baseload electricity in the UAE.

"It is low-cost and pollution-free technology that will give sustainable energy to the UAE. The UAE needs nuclear energy to maintain the growth in manufacturing and health and construction sectors," he added.

Al Adil Trading
Dr Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading, said the UAE has once again reiterated its position as a leader in adopting sustainable energy practices.

"This successful operation places the UAE as a pioneer in the Arab world. What is important is the vision of our great leaders to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. This will help to meet around 25 per cent of our country's energy needs without compromising on any safety factors in an environmentally friendly way. This is not only an example of our leaders futuristic vision but also provides inspiration to all of us to get out of our comfort zone. It is our responsibility to ensure that these efforts are supported by ensuring that we all adopt the right energy saving practices," he stressed.

Dake Group
Chandra Dake, executive chairman and group CEO of Dake Group, said it was a "great milestone" and a "huge leap of progress" for the whole of Middle East.

"This new stream of nuclear energy positively impacts and boosts the economy multi-fold. The UAE joins the club of very few nuclear power producing countries in the world. This stream of energy is clean and sustainable and helps in reducing the energy costs of the country significantly. It is not a wonder, then, that the UAE pulls this off with style like many other achievements, and it is exhilarating."

Al Maya Group
Kamal Vachani, group director of Al Maya Group, pointed out that the UAE is building a nation that will catalyse sustainability efforts that will leave a legacy of sustainable infrastructure and cutting-edge practices that will increase public awareness about and engagement and sustainable living, extending benefits to the wider economy.

"This is a bold and a positive step by the government, which will boost the overall growth and development of the nation," he added.

Gulf Pinnacle Logistics
Shailesh Dash, board member, Gulf Pinnacle Logistics, attributed the successful operations of the Arab World's first nuclear plants in the UAE to visionary leadership of the country and said it is beginning of a new era to promote research and development in the region.
"The UAE has once again proved its leadership by transforming its vision into reality in short time. The credit goes to its visionary leaders who transform the country into an advance nation by joining elite nuclear power nations," he said.

Crowe UAE
Nimish Makvana - Senior Partner Crowe UAE, Past Chairman ICAI - Dubai (UAE) Chapter NPIO, Past President IBPC - Dubai, said: "The UAE has begun operating the first nuclear power plant that is a historic moment for the UAE with a positive and progressive futuristic approach and a strong message to the world by UAE leadership on abilities, dedication, and delivery of initiatives in which the leaders take up."

To be first in the Arab Region to develop a nuclear energy plant to generate clean and safe electricity, which will last for 60 years, will further enhance and strengthen trust and vision in Rulers of the UAE, he added. "This will create an opportunity for skillful human resources, and across the globe, this initiative will draw people to come to the UAE to be part of the success story. From an economic point of view, great effort to diversify its energy economy and reduce dependency on fossil fuels."  - sandhya@khaleejtimes.com

Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.