Yellow Door Energy plans to double renewable portfolio in 2021

Exclusive: The Dubai-based firm is working towards growing its assets to $1bn by 2025

Yellow Door Energy solar panels supplying power to a Classic Fashion facility in Jordan. The Dubai-based firm is bullish on the prospects for growth in the kingdom. Courtesy Yellow Door Energy
Powered by automated translation

Dubai-based Yellow Door Energy plans to add $100 million worth of renewable energy assets to its portfolio this year, as it works towards growing its assets to $1 billion by 2025, according to its chief executive.

The company, which is backed by multilateral lenders including the International Finance Corporation, has focused on developing its existing solar facilities in the UAE, but also expanded to Bahrain during the pandemic.

"We expect to achieve $1bn of assets by 2025," Jeremy Crane told The National in an interview.

"We're growing a lot. Our contracted assets grew by 30 per cent last year and this year we expect they will double in scale. We expect to sign $100m of new projects in 2021," he added.

Yellow Door Energy, which operates solar photovoltaic projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan, already has clean energy assets worth $100m.

The company, which was spun-off from Middle East-focused solar energy investor Adenium Energy Capital in 2015, counts the International Finance Corporation, Mitsui & Co, Norway's Equinor Energy Ventures and Dammam-based Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) among its investors.

The renewables developer, which last year took an 18 per cent hit to its profit due to Covid-19's impact on the global economy and supply chains, is bullish on growth this year.

"One of the things that also has been trending, because of the pandemic, is a heightened interest in renewables [due to] concern for the planet," said Mr Crane.

Global emissions fell 7 per cent last year due to the grounding of airlines and a reduction in traffic as a result of widespread lockdowns, according to the International Energy Agency.

Several countries, including the UAE, are considering using 2020 as a baseline for future emission control targets.

Corporate investors are also shunning fossil fuel assets, while hydrocarbon companies themselves are writing off the value of their oil and gas resources as they pivot to cleaner alternatives.

Mr Crane noted that some of the company's investors, such as Mitsui and Apicorp, which have between them a combined $50bn worth of assets, are prioritising more investment in renewables.

Yellow Door Energy, which raised $60m in financing last year plans to borrow more, but the chief executive declined to specify a figure.

"We have four shareholders with tens of billions of dollars of balance sheets behind them. So they're very strong contributors. We do expect that our shareholders will continue to invest and help us grow the business," Mr Crane said.

The company is close to starting construction on two facilities belonging to its franchise customer, Nestle. Yellow Door Energy has already serviced the multinational with 5 megawatts of renewable power at one of its existing facilities.

The Dubai energy firm is also optimistic on growth prospects in Pakistan, which has been looking to integrate more renewables to its power grid as it phases out coal power generation.

Yellow Door Energy has been adding more staff on the ground in the South Asian nation, with $50m worth of projects under development.