Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 September 2020

Taqa eyes international investments as it pursues clean energy projects

The company says it will 'selectively seek growth opportunities' in existing and new markets following its asset swap deal with ADPower

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) says it will continue to seek growth opportunities at home and abroad after it completed its transaction with Abu Dhabi Power Corporation to create one of the largest utility companies in the EMEA region. Ravindranath K/The National
Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) says it will continue to seek growth opportunities at home and abroad after it completed its transaction with Abu Dhabi Power Corporation to create one of the largest utility companies in the EMEA region. Ravindranath K/The National

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) will advance the UAE’s goal of increasing the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix and “selectively seek" investment opportunities abroad following its asset swap deal with state-owned ADPower.

The transaction gives Taqa a solid platform, allowing it to assess opportunities across its generation and transmission components to meet increased demand for water and power in the UAE, the company said in its transformation strategy report, posted on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange website.

“Internationally, we will follow a disciplined approach and investment assessment framework, focusing on select opportunities with attractive risk-adjusted returns,” the company said.

Taqa will seek investments in large-scale projects that fit its core competencies, including in markets where it has a presence. It will also look to enter new markets through the establishment of new partnerships, the company added.

Taqa’s deal with ADPower, finalised last month, created one of the largest utility companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with Dh200 billion of assets.

ADPower transferred a majority of its water generation, transmission and distribution assets to Taqa in exchange for more than 106.3 billion new shares, significantly boosting Taqa’s asset base and its financial profile.

Taqa currently boasts about 23 gigawatts in power and approximately 900 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) in water generation capacity. The company is now the sole transmission firm in Abu Dhabi with significant networks in six emirates, according to the strategy report.

Taqa is now targeting 20 per cent share of solar and about 50 per cent share of reverse osmosis within its generation capacities by 2030, “further improving our clean energy credentials,” it added.

Earlier this month, a consortium led by Taqa and Masdar, in partnership with France’s EDF and JinkoPower, won the bid to develop the world’s largest solar power plant with a total capacity of 2 gigawatts in Abu Dhabi. The tariff for the project, awarded by the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), was set at Dh4.97 fils per kilowatt hour ($1.35 cents/kWh) on a levelised cost of electricity basis.

The project’s financial closure is set for the third quarter of this year and will increase Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to approximately 3.2 gigawatts, once the plant is fully operational.

Taqa's also made a Dh900 million push to expand its recycled water distribution programme last month when its subsidiary Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, awarded two projects. The schemes will have a combined capacity to transmit about 85 MIGD of recycled water, sufficient to irrigate more than 3.5 million palm trees.

Taqa, which in the past has focused on oil and gas, said with its “substantial new scale in the utilities space” and further opportunities of growth within the segment, its existing international oil and gas assets will become a smaller portion of its overall portfolio.

The reduction will “significantly increase our resilience to commodity price volatility”, it said.

“We will continue to improve operating efficiencies within the oil and gas business line to maximise short-term value while seeking long-term strategic solutions.”

Updated: August 5, 2020 12:16 PM

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