Adnoc to tap into nuclear and solar power for electricity generation

It will become the first oil and gas company to completely decarbonise its power intake

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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will meet up to 100 per cent of its power requirements from solar and nuclear after an agreement with Emirates Water and Electricity Company, in line with the UAE's recent pledge to reach net-zero by the middle of the century.

The state-owned company is set to become the first oil and gas company in the world to completely decarbonise its electric grid at scale, Adnoc said on Tuesday.

The supply of clean power to Adnoc will begin in January 2022, according to a spokesman.

The initiative was launched by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office and chairman of the executive committee of Adnoc's board of directors.

The deal will also lock in a long-term renewable electricity offtake agreement for Ewec.

“The clean energy partnership between Adnoc and Ewec brings together two major UAE entities to unlock mutual value as they harness the nation’s energy resources to drive economic progress, in support of the UAE’s ‘Principles of the 50’ outlined by the leadership to chart a strategic road map for the nation’s new era of economic and social growth over the next 50 years,” Sheikh Khaled said.

The UAE became the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to adopt the pledge to offset all of its domestic carbon emissions by 2050. Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, as well as Bahrain, one of the smallest producers in the Gulf, also announced plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 earlier this week.

As part of its net-zero strategy, the UAE plans to invest Dh600 billion in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.

“This landmark clean energy partnership with Ewec will make Adnoc the first major oil and gas company to decarbonise its power at scale through a clean power partnership of this kind,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc managing director and group chief executive.

“It also directly supports our goal to remain one of the lowest carbon intensity operators in the oil and gas industry, and underscores how hydrocarbons, clean energy, and advanced energy sources can complement each other in the energy transition.”

Adnoc is also open to new and existing partners in “delivering practical solutions” in energy transition, said Dr Al Jaber, who also serves as the UAE's Minister for Industry and Advanced Technology.

Ewec, meanwhile, is targeting a 50 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from its power businesses by 2025. The utility company also plans to increase investment in desalination projects with less energy impact to meet growing demand.

Ewec, which is part of holding company ADQ, has been gradually lowering its carbon impact. The company's average carbon dioxide intensity from power generation fell 15 per cent to 350 grams per kilowatt-hour in 2018 from 412 grams/kWh in 2015 thanks to the commissioning of new energy-efficient plants.

The utility company is also developing a massive 2-gigawatts solar photovoltaic plant in the Al Dhafrah region of the UAE. The project follows the start-up of the 1.7 gigawatts Noor Abu Dhabi plant in 2019.

“Through this agreement, we are providing a platform that will advance Adnoc's clean energy goals and enable Ewec's continued investment in new renewable and clean energy projects to advance the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s energy mix,” said Mohamed Alsuwaidi, chief executive at ADQ and chairman of Ewec.

The atomic power supplied to Adnoc will come from Barakah nuclear power plant, operated by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, which is part of ADQ's portfolio.

Updated: October 27, 2021, 4:36 AM