Taqa revises 2030 growth target and plans $20bn investments amid earnings boost

Renewables expected to account for about 65 per cent of company's power generation portfolio by end of decade

Taqa said its third-quarter net income climbed by 32 per cent. Victor Besa / The National
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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, has revised its growth targets to boost the size of its assets base, as it commits Dh75 billion ($20.4 billion) in infrastructure investments amid healthy earnings growth.

The company, which reported an almost 32 per cent jump in its third-quarter net profit, is aiming for 150 gigawatts of gross power generation by 2030 and plans a larger share of renewables within its portfolio by 2030, it said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

Taqa, one of the largest listed integrated utilities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, had a previous target of 50 gigawatts of power generation capacity.

The company now aims for renewable power sources to account for around 65 per cent of its power generation portfolio by the end of this decade to help the UAE achieve its decarbonisation goals.

This increase from the previous 30 per cent renewable power generation capacity comes with Taqa’s stake in clean energy company Masdar.

On a standalone basis, Masdar’s clean generation capacity is expected to reach 100 gigawatts by 2030. In terms of net power generation capacity, Taqa is set to reach 50 gigawatts by 2030, up from its current net capacity of 17 gigawatts.

“We approach the year-end with positive momentum as Taqa continues to expand its footprint domestically and internationally in line with our revised growth targets,” said Jasim Thabet, Taqa’s group chief executive and managing director.

“Our continued success and rapid expansion have made it imperative to align our targets to the evolving ambition of the business while maintaining our commitment to innovation and delivering on our promise to our stakeholders," said Mr Thabet.

Taqa's Dh75 billion investment includes its previously committed spending goal of Dh40 billion between 2021 and 2030 to grow its UAE transmission and distribution networks.

The company is also “actively seeking to expand its transmission and distribution business beyond the UAE through both inorganic and organic opportunities”, the company said in the regulatory filing.

It is also ramping up its water generation capacity target to 1,300 million imperial gallons a day from the current desalination capacity of 1,180 million imperial gallons a day.

Taqa is playing a key role in supporting the UAE’s clean energy transition.

The company last year acquired a controlling stake in Masdar’s renewable business, along with Adnoc and Mubadala.

In the UAE, Taqa's portfolio of projects include the Taweelah A1 and Shuweihat S1.

In the renewables sector, the company holds a 60 per cent stake in the 1.2-gigawatt Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant, the world’s largest single-site solar photovoltaic plant.

Taqa is also developing the 2-gigawatt solar plant in Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Masdar, France’s EDF Renewables and China’s JinkoPower.

Its international portfolio of assets is spread across Canada, Ghana, India, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US.

In October last year, Taqa said it planned to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across its portfolio of assets by the end of this decade.

Taqa is committed to an even bigger 33 per cent reduction of UAE portfolio emissions, compared with the 2019 baseline, by the end of 2030, it said in a statement to the ADX at the time.

The move is part of its environmental, social and governance, which Taqa said was a "credible step towards" achieving its net-zero ambitions by 2050.

"Taqa is an excellent example of the energy transition in action as we turn ambition into tangible outcomes to support the UAE’s decarbonisation efforts," Mr Thabet said on Monday.

"Taqa's growth has laid the foundation for achieving sustainable growth, putting us on the path towards a low-carbon future, while maintaining attractive returns for our shareholders and helping to deliver energy security in the markets we serve.”

The company said its net income attributable to shareholders in the three months to the end of September climbed to Dh3.42 billion – up from Dh2.6 billion recorded for the same period last year.

Profit for the first nine months of the year jumped to Dh18.17 billion, more than doubling from Dh8 billion recorded for the same period of 2022.

It included “a one-off gain of Dh10.8 billion recognised on the acquisition of a 5 per cent shareholding in Adnoc Gas, in part offset by a one-off Dh1.2 billion deferred tax liability associated with the introduction of UAE corporate income tax from 1 January, 2024”, the company said.

Taqa is committed to “delivering a steady performance on the back of strong returns from the group’s utility business despite headwinds caused by fluctuations in commodity prices and the enforced shutdown of our production in Iraq”, Mr Thabet said.

“We have continued to deliver on Taqa’s growth agenda with project execution across the transmission and distribution segment, further supported by a pickup in regulated capital expenditure.”

Capital expenditure during the January to September period reached Dh3.3 billion, a 34 per cent annual jump, as project execution picked up pace.

The company’s gross debt remained unchanged at Dh61.7 billion, from the end-2022 level.

Taqa's board also approved a third interim cash dividend for the year of about Dh731 million, in line with its dividend policy.

Updated: November 13, 2023, 12:23 PM