Mohamed Al Hammadi joins top 10 of ‘100 Most Powerful Arabs 2023’ Gulf Business report

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The impact of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme has once again been recognised in Gulf Business’ “100 Most Powerful Arabs 2023” report, in which Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), has now been moved into the top 10 of the listing.

Al Hammadi has led the development of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme and the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant since its inception more than 14 years ago. He has been responsible for leading and overseeing the development of the plant, which today has three commercially operational units, generating abundant clean electricity for the UAE round-the-clock.

A fourth unit is close to completion, and all four combined will provide 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity needs.

The Barakah Plant spearheads the rapid decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector. Gas demand for electricity is now at an 11-year-low in Abu Dhabi because of the significant transformation in how the emirate generates its electricity.

Over the winter months, the Barakah plant generated up to 48 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s electricity, all carbon-free and generated 24/7.

The UAE’s decision to include nuclear energy in the national energy mix is a major contributor to achieving the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy. The nuclear sector is a vital part of the UAE’s clean energy ecosystem of low-carbon technologies, ensuring the UAE grid’s sustainability, reliability, and resiliency for at least the next 60 years.

The Gulf Business’ 100 Most Powerful Arabs 2023 report ranked the MD and CEO of ENEC 10th, up from 11th last year. Al Hammadi has also been recognised internationally by recently being appointed as the new President of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).

He was voted in by members during the WANO Biennial General Meeting (BGM) in Prague, Czech Republic, in October 2022.

Globally, public sentiment for nuclear energy is growing, as many communities recognise the need for a clean “always on” energy source to provide electricity at all times of the day and night, creating a solid foundation for intermittent sources such as solar and wind.

Al Hammadi is now leading ENEC’s efforts in innovation and R&D in areas like the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), clean hydrogen and other clean technologies. ENEC’s leadership has showcased a new model to the world for new nuclear developments, with Barakah recognised as one of the most successful nuclear build nuclear energy programmes globally regarding project management and cost.

The plant demonstrates the success of the UAE’s long-term investment to diversify its energy portfolio and achieve Net Zero, with clean electricity being a key geopolitical asset for the UAE.

The plant is the first operational multi-unit nuclear plant in the Arab world and the largest source of clean electricity in the region, sustainably powering the nation’s growth.