Abu Dhabi's Taqa to invest Dh40bn and expand its push into renewables as part of 2030 strategy

The company plans to add 12 gigawatts of domestic power-generating capacity and a further 15 gigawatts globally

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, or Taqa, plans to invest Dh40 billion in infrastructure development as it looks to add about 27 gigawatts of power capacity by 2030 and expand its renewables portfolio.

The investment was announced on Wednesday as part of a new 2030 strategy.

“Taqa will become a champion for low carbon power and water,” group chief executive and managing director Jasim Thabet said.

“We will expand our portfolio of renewables and highly efficient water desalination, drive efficiency in our networks and distribution business and invest in growing the UAE regulated asset base.”

Taqa completed a merger with Abu Dhabi Power Corporation in July last year. The deal, effectively a reverse takeover, resulted in ADPC transferring assets worth Dh120bn to Taqa in return for shares, giving it a 98.6 per cent stake in the company.

The merged entity, which has assets worth Dh200bn, said it still expects to complete a public offering to diversify its share base, subject to market conditions and shareholder approval.

Taqa recently allowed foreign investors to own up to 49 per cent of its issued shares.

The company also plans to expand its power-generation capacity in the UAE from 18 gigawatts to 30 gigawatts. It intends to boost its global generating capacity by 15 gigawatts.

Taqa will generate more than 30 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2030, compared with 5 per cent currently.

The increase will largely come through solar photovoltaic generation. It is currently building the massive 2-gigawatt Al Dhafra Solar PV plant alongside Masdar, France’s EDF Renewables and China’s JinkoPower.

About two thirds of desalination projects will be based on reverse osmosis, a membrane-based method of desalination that uses less energy compared with the thermal process used to produce fresh water.

The company is already building the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant, Taweelah, which will produce 200 million imperial gallons of water a day.

“Taqa has the support of our shareholders for this new strategy and is on its way to become the recognised low carbon power and water champion from Abu Dhabi,” said chairman Mohamed Al Suwaidi.

Taqa also plans to expand energy efficiency services through its operating company, Abu Dhabi Energy Services. It will focus on demand-side management and will help public and private entities achieve their energy saving targets.

The company plans to lower its exposure to fossil fuel assets in line with environmental, social and governance principles and will publish plans to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

It also plans to pursue “highly selective capital allocation” focused on the rationalisation of its oil and gas portfolio.

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