Realising UAE's green potential

The UAE will provide $160 billion (Dh587 billion) worth of investment opportunities to global investors in the energy sector over the next 30 years as the country looks to diversify its economy, a senior official has said.

"We are planning to diversify our energy resources to greener source, up to 50 per cent by 2050. And this policy initiative is going to offer investment options worth up to $160 billion over the next 30 years or so," said Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry.

He said this initiative will provide partnership potential [with foreign investors]. In the industrial sector, we are promoting Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies including machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, digitisation of economy and 3D printing," the minister said.

Last month, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) signed $20.7 billion (Dh76 billion) worth of deals with world's leading infrastructure investors, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds to invest in Abu Dhabi's gas pipelines to as part of emirates' diversification strategy.

Analysts said that the deal reflected strong ability of the UAE energy firm to attract capital, which can then be invested in projects linked to Adnoc's medium-term growth plans. About the response from the investors on Adnoc's investment opportunities, Al Mazrouei said Adnoc has managed to bring together large interest from quality investors to offer them prime quality assets.

"We are happy with the turnout from investors and managed to attract financial institutions and pension funds in difficult time. This is beginning of relationship and we hope that in the future investors from Canada and other countries will come and explore other opportunities that we would offer," he said.

Anita Yadav, partner, Aspire Cap, had said that akin to Adnoc deal, the UAE could see more and more such deals in other sectors such as roads, railways, power generation, water supplies and desalination plants. While addressing a webinar hosted by the Canada-UAE Business Council, Al Mazrouei said the UAE is also bringing new high quality infrastructure projects in oil and gas sector and Adnoc has done a similar excercise last month.

"There is a high appetite for quality assets and due to excellent rating as well having one of the seasoned operating models, we have probably one of the lowest-producing hydrocarbon and infrastructure projects."

Al Mazrouei said the deployment of AI applications in different sectors has reflected good results in the form of reducing costs and improving efficiency. "We are revisiting plans, looking at how we benefit from pandemic that flip the whole economy upside down and made us worried about things that we didn't worry about before such as food security and internal healthcare security. Adaptability is something that we learnt (during pandemic)," the energy minister said during the webinar.

Not out of woods Addressing the webinar, Opec's secretary-general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said demand for oil will plummet and indeed it did. "At one point, we were talking of 30 million barrel per day demand disruption. We are not out of the woods as these were unprecedented times. I can't say anyone was prepared for this (pandemic and its impact)."

The UAE energy minister noted that the oil prices recovered quickly after the cut in oil production. "No one predicted even after we announced the output cut that market will quickly rebound to where we are today. If we stick to it and implement the cut, we can bring order into the sector. Our worry is not price as a producers but saving the whole industry, millions of jobs and convincing investors to come back and invest in this commodity after Covid-19," he added.

"We are still in the woods, but I am confident that Opec will continue to work with good friends to do what is good for the market. We are keen to produce our barrel but we need to do at the right time. UAE was willing for extra voluntary cut in June that we did along with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to bring stability to the market." -




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