TAQA switches focus to electricity

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company will turn its focus back to electricity generation after snapping up oil and gas wells.

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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) will turn its focus back to electricity generation after snapping up oil and gas wells across the world, the company's chief executive said today. The new emphasis on acquiring electricity, or "downstream" assets, coincides with the release of a bond prospectus proposing the issuance of up to US$9 billion (Dh33bn) worth of commercial paper, and comes a day after a Taqa official said the firm would enter the Asian power market.

The company has acquired a number of oil and gas assets in the North Sea this year, including exploration blocks and existing wells and pipelines. But Mr Barker Homek said Taqa would now look to bolster its power generation assets, which provide a stable source of revenue for the company. "We are looking at emphasising downstream development at this point just to get our portfolio back towards our ideal," he said. "We're very heavy in upstream in North America, so we'd like to balance back towards the downstream. Similarly in Europe."

Mr Barker-Homek declined to specify whether the proposed bond would be used to fund new acquisitions. "We think it's a good time to test the market's appetite for Taqa paper," he said. "If we were to issue, the first order of business would be to pay down any short-term facilities we've drawn." As of June 30, Taqa had about Dh1.2bn worth of debt due within the year, according to the prospectus, and had access to more than Dh5bn worth of cash and cash equivalent.

cstanton@thenational.ae