France's Technip Energies and Abu Dhabi's National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) signed a preliminary agreement to form a joint venture to collaborate on energy transition projects in the UAE and the broader Middle East and North Africa region.
Technip's partnership with NPCC, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based National Marine Dredging Company, is aimed at enhancing co-operation in blue and green hydrogen, and related decarbonisation projects, they said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The two energy sector-focused companies will work together on carbon capturing opportunities in energy transition and industrial projects.
The joint venture will allow sharing of technical capabilities, global and local execution experience, and “financial strength for providing solutions to accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon society”, said Arnaud Pieton, chief executive of Technip Energies.
The UAE aims to be a leader in blue hydrogen as it looks to achieve self-sufficiency in natural gas and tap the growing market for low-carbon fuel. Hydrogen, a critical clean fuel of the future, is dominating talks this week at Gastech, one of the biggest global energy conferences of the year, taking place in Dubai.
The focus on energy transition and hydrogen comes amid growing interest from oil-exporting nations, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in developing the clean fuel for domestic use, as well as to forge new trade relations.
The UAE, Opec's third-largest oil producer, is drawing up a hydrogen road map and is looking to add the fuel to its clean energy mix by 2050. The country plans to invest Dh600 billion ($163,48bn) by 2050 into growing its renewable energy capacity.
Earlier this year, three Abu Dhabi-backed entities — Mubadala Investment Company, Adnoc and holding company ADQ — formed an alliance to develop a hydrogen centre in the country.
The joint venture with Technip Energies will “accelerate our decarbonisation commitment and also support the nation’s climate change action initiatives and the long-term sustainable development vision”, said Ahmed Al Dhaheri, chief executive of NPCC.