Taqa teams up with EGA, Dubal Holding and Ewec to expand clean energy development

Taqa and Dubal plan to acquire EGA’s electricity generation assets in the UAE as part of the initiative

Emirates Global Aluminium is already taking steps to develop its own technology designed to decarbonise its operations and reduce emissions. Photo: EGA
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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, is teaming up with Emirates Global Aluminium, Dubal Holding and the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) to unlock further development of solar power generation capacity in Abu Dhabi.

The tie-up will also advance the optimisation of power asset and generation while also decarbonising EGA’s aluminium production.

As part of the initiative, Taqa and Dubal Holding plan to acquire EGA’s electricity generation assets in the UAE, holding a stake of 50 per cent each.

The power generated from the assets will be supplied to the grid under a long-term power purchase agreement with Ewec’s load dispatch centre, Taqa said in a statement on Wednesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

EGA would source power from the grid through a long-term electricity supply agreement that includes an increasing proportion of clean energy procured by Ewec.

That will make EGA the largest single electricity consumer on the grid.

“Sourcing cost effective clean power from the grid will enable EGA to lead our global industry into a more sustainable future,” EGA chief executive Abdulnasser bin Kalban said.

“Today, we are taking another historic step towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We are also assuring that EGA’s global competitiveness will strengthen over the decades ahead, not only as the world’s largest ‘premium aluminium’ producer but also as one of its most environmentally responsible.”

EGA, which is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment arm Mubadala Investment Company and the Investment Corporation of Dubai, is the world’s biggest “premium” aluminium producer. The company’s metal is the largest “Made in the UAE” export after oil and gas.

EGA is already taking various steps to develop its own technology to decarbonise its operations and reduce emissions, Salman Abdulla, executive vice president at EGA, said at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit last year.

The company aims to lower its emissions further in the next 10 to 15 years through “breakthrough technologies” by tapping into green sources of energy, including hydrogen and solar, he said at the time.

EGA’s assets, located in Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah, have a total power generation capacity of 6,474 megawatts and predominantly run on combined cycle gas turbines technology.

These include some of the most efficient turbines in the region, including an H-class engine in Jebel Ali that was commissioned in 2021.

For Taqa, the acquisition of EGA’s power assets would increase the company’s UAE-based capacity to more than 22 gigawatts, in line with its growth strategy to increase domestic capacity to 30 gigawatts by 2030, it said.

“Working together with EGA, Dubal Holding and Ewec, we will enable EGA to connect to a diverse energy mix, as well as allow for the development of additional renewable energy projects in Abu Dhabi,” said Jasim Thabet, group chief executive and managing director of Taqa.

The new steady power demand from EGA increases the predictability of the overall power system and advances Ewec’s development of new solar energy projects.

The scale of the expansion as a direct result of this initiative is expected to be greater than the current total installed solar generation capacity in the UAE.

Updated: March 09, 2022, 8:53 AM