Abu Dhabi's Taqa establishes green finance framework as part of net-zero push

Proceeds from the issuance of green bonds, sukuk, loans and other debt instruments will support eligible projects across its portfolio

Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, which is 60 per cent owned by Taqa. Photo: Taqa
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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, launched a green finance framework for the issuance of green bonds, sukuks, loans and other debt instruments to support its net-zero goal.

Proceeds from such issuances will go to eligible green projects, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable water and wastewater management, clean transportation and terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity, Taqa said in a statement on Wednesday.

Projects financed under the framework will contribute to the company's 2030 environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets, and its goal of achieving net zero by 2050, in line with the UAE's ambitions.

“Taqa’s green finance framework is an important mechanism to help us finance the journey towards achieving our ESG goals, as a low carbon power and water champion," said Jasim Thabet, Taqa's group chief executive and managing director.

"Our own emission reduction targets are backed by a business plan and credible green projects that will see us play a key role in decarbonising the power and water sector as well as other industries in the UAE and around the world.”

Established in 2005, Abu Dhabi-listed Taqa is a diversified utilities and energy group with investments in power and water generation, transmission and distribution assets, as well as upstream and midstream oil and gas operations.

It has assets in the UAE as well as Canada, Ghana, India, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US.

Taqa is also a shareholder in Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), along with Mubadala and Adnoc.

In late 2022, the company announced its 2030 ESG strategy, which includes interim greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

Taqa has committed to a 25 per cent reduction of scope 1 and 2 (direct and indirect) emissions by 2030, including a 33 per cent reduction of UAE portfolio emissions compared to the 2019 baseline.

The company has also committed to expanding its share of renewables to at least 30 per cent of total generation capacity by 2030.

"This goal has been accelerated with the acquisition of a 43 per cent stake in Masdar’s renewables business, which brings us to over 28 per cent of our portfolio coming from renewables," Taqa said.

In February, Taqa also formed a joint venture with Adnoc Distribution to build and operate electric vehicle infrastructure in Abu Dhabi as part of its ESG strategy.

The new company, E2GO, aims to become the principal provider of EV charging points and associated infrastructure across the UAE capital.

Last year, Taqa, together with Emirates Water and Electricity Company, raised $700.8 million through its first green bond.

“It's our intention to tap into the best available funding available in the market to increase returns for our shareholders and give us an edge for growth,” Mr Thabet told The National last month.

For Taqa's green finance framework, Citi, Standard Chartered Bank, MUFG and HSBC served as joint sustainability structuring banks alongside First Abu Dhabi Bank as sustainability finance framework adviser.

Updated: April 12, 2023, 7:17 AM