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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 3 March 2021

Dubai's Enerwhere looks to tap wind to power industrial projects

The company is carrying out feasibility studies on powering mining and quarrying activities in Abu Dhabi

Enerwhere CEO Daniel Zywietz said the mining industry has come under greater scrutiny from investors to meet ESG goals. Ravindranath K / The National 
Enerwhere CEO Daniel Zywietz said the mining industry has come under greater scrutiny from investors to meet ESG goals. Ravindranath K / The National 

Renewable energy company Enerwhere is carrying out feasibility studies on wind capacity to support cement quarrying in Abu Dhabi.

Based in Dubai, Enerwhere specialises in portable, easy to install solar hybrid systems for off-grid projects.

It believes renewables can be used to help mining and quarrying industries in the UAE and West Africa to reduce their carbon presence.

The company, which has floating solar photovoltaic panel systems installed off Zaya Nurai island in Abu Dhabi, is already using solar installations to power cement recycling processes at Al Dhafrah in Abu Dhabi. It is also assessing other renewable opportunities.

“We are looking at ways to make wind transportable in our business model and there are various ways to do it," chief executive Daniel Zywietz told The National.

"You can use smaller turbines, you can use kites, you can you can use things that fold up out of the box. We’re currently in the assessment phase.”

The feasibility study for the wind scheme, which could add about 1 megawatt of capacity to support site operator Al Dhafrah Recycling Industries along with other facilities, is likely to take in the region of six months.

Enerwhere, which paused some of its plans to expand to Oman, Saudi Arabia and Iraq because of mobility restrictions, has refocused its efforts on supporting infrastructure development in the UAE. In addition to this, it remains optimistic about its ongoing projects in Africa.

The West African mining sector, buoyed by the prospects of a commodities "supercycle", is booming.

However, mining companies also need to contend with higher crude prices, which have rallied nearly 10 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Enerwhere is offering affordable, renewable off-grid power at a time when the mining industry is coming under greater scrutiny from investors to meet environmental, social and governance goals, Mr Zywietz said.

“If you’re in mining right now and you’re publicly listed, then you’re dealing with funds that are telling you ‘Look, it’s sustainability, or you’re not going to see any money’,” said Mr Zywietz.

“So I think the big difference to the last commodity supercycle for us is that it’s now going to be much more sustainably powered,” he added.

The company is continuing to meet supply requirements for the upstream oil and gas industry, which is looking for ways to offset total carbon emissions.

Last year, several oil majors pledged to transition towards becoming net-zero energy producers over the decades ahead.

Both Shell and BP cut the carrying value of of their hydrocarbon assets and pledged to become net-zero producers by 2050.

Enerwhere also envisages opportunities in markets such as the UK to provide off-grid power for projects, including one in the heart of the capital, London.

The company plans to raise “a double-digit million dollar figure” this year to meet the capital that will be required for existing projects in solar and battery technology, said Mr Zywietz.

The fundraising will also meet its plans to expand one of its software systems internationally, he said.

Updated: January 18, 2021 06:22 PM

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