UAE's Mohamed Al Hammadi joins top 10 of ‘100 Most Powerful Arabs 2023’

MD and CEO of ENEC leads the development of UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy programme


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Published: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 2:23 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 2:57 PM

The impact of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy programme has once again been recognized 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 up 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 around the clock. A fourth unit is close to completion and all four combined will provide 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity needs. The Barakah plant is spearheading 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 is generating its electricity. Over the winter months, the Barakah plant was generating up to 48 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s electricity, with all of it being carbon-free and generated 24/7.

The Barakah plant is spearheading the rapid decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector.  - KT file
The Barakah plant is spearheading the rapid decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector. - KT file

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 as whole is a vital part of the UAE’s clean energy ecosystem of low-carbon technologies, ensuring the sustainability, reliability, and resiliency of the UAE grid for at least the next 60 years.

The report ranked the MD and CEO of ENEC 10th, up from 11th last year. Al Hammadi has also been recognized 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 in Prague in October 2022.

Globally, public sentiment for nuclear energy is growing, as many communities recognize the need for a clean ‘always on’ energy source to provide electricity at all times of the day and night, creating a strong 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 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 recognized as one of the most successful new build nuclear energy programmes globally in terms of 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.

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