Masdar and NPCC team up to explore renewable energy opportunities

They will collaborate on offshore wind projects, green hydrogen production and battery storage technology

Masdar and NPCC executives after the signing of the pact. The companies aim to advance the UAE’s energy transition campaign. Photo: Masdar

Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar signed a preliminary agreement with the National Petroleum Construction Company, a subsidiary of the National Marine Dredging Company, to collaborate on offshore wind, green hydrogen and other renewable energy technology.

The companies will initially work together on offshore wind projects and later extend their co-operation to other sectors, including green hydrogen production and battery storage technology, Masdar and NPCC said on Friday.

“Masdar and NPCC share a common commitment to advancing the UAE’s leadership position in the energy sector and driving sustainable growth,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar.

“By leveraging each other’s expertise in our respective fields, our combined efforts could play a vital role in achieving the UAE’s clean energy objectives and support our nation’s net zero commitment.”

Demand for renewable energy resources has risen as the world tackles major environmental issues, most notably climate change and global warming.

The growth of renewable capacity is projected to accelerate in the next five years, accounting for about 95 per cent of the increase in global power capacity through 2026, the International Energy Agency said in a recent report.

Wind energy capacity reportedly trails only the solar photovoltaic industry in terms of renewable energy expansion.

Total offshore wind capacity is expecte to more than triple by 2026, with global capacity additions set to hit 21 gigawatts, the Paris-based agency said.

Ahmed Al Dhaheri, chief executive of NPCC, said going into partnership with Masdar would contribute towards advancing the UAE’s energy transition and open up new avenues for clean energy integration and adoption.

“NPCC continually explores new opportunities … in decarbonisation projects in support of the UAE’s climate change initiatives and long-term sustainable development vision,” Mr Al Dhaheri said.

The UAE, Opec’s third-largest oil producer, plans to invest Dh600 billion ($163bn) by 2050 in renewable and clean energy capacity and achieve net zero emissions in the next three decades.

It will also host the 28th UN global climate talks in 2023.

Masdar reported a 40 per cent jump in its clean energy capacity in 2021. Its clean energy portfolio displaced about 7.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2021, a 38 per cent increase from the previous year.

The company’s total electricity generation capacity, which also includes projects under construction, rose to more than 15 gigawatts last year.

Three of the UAE’s energy companies — Adnoc, Taqa and Mubadala — will team up with Masdar to form a clean energy powerhouse with a total renewable energy capacity of more than 23 gigawatts and plans to expand it to more than 100 gigawatts.

However, Masdar did not say by when the companies aim to hit that target.

The Abu Dhabi-based company is a major developer and investor in wind projects. It has stakes in London Array, one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world, and Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, which became operational in 2017.

The company is also involved in the development of the world’s largest solar plant in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra. The 2-gigawatt plant is expected to be fully operational this year.

In 2021, Masdar entered new markets including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Iraq and Poland, extending its renewable energy investments to more than 40 countries with a combined value of more than $20bn.

This year, Masdar signed an agreement with Cosmo Energy Holdings, a Japanese energy company, to explore the development of renewable energy initiatives, including offshore wind projects, in Japan.

It is also working on green hydrogen development in collaboration with international partners.

In December, it formed a strategic alliance with France’s Engie to co-develop a UAE-based green hydrogen hub, with a planned investment of $5bn, the company said.

Masdar and Hassan Allam Utilities last month signed agreements with companies in Egypt related to development of green hydrogen production plants in the country, with plans for an electrolyser capacity of 4 gigawatts by 2030.

NPCC merged with NMDC in 2021 and operates in the Arabian Gulf, South Asia and South-East Asia.

It plans to expand to Africa and the Caspian region. The company owns a fleet of 23 offshore vessels with equipment to support its shallow and deep-water operations in the oil and gas sector.

Updated: May 13, 2022, 10:35 AM