TAQA, EGA, EWEC & Dubal Holding to boost solar power capacity in UAE

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA), Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), Dubal Holding, and Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) have launched a major initiative to unlock further solar power generation capacity in Abu Dhabi, progress power asset and generation optimization, and decarbonize EGA’s aluminum production in the UAE.

The initiative, now subject to further negotiation and regulatory approvals in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, will advance TAQA and Dubal Holding’s growth strategies, support EGA in becoming a leader in the global aluminum industry’s drive to net-zero by 2050, and assist EWEC’s continued development of strategic renewable energy initiatives to reduce the energy sector’s carbon intensity. 

TAQA and Dubal Holding envisage acquiring EGA’s electricity generation assets in the UAE, holding a 50 percent share each. The power generated from the assets would be supplied to the grid under a long-term power purchase agreement with the despatch of the assets through EWEC’s load despatch center.

Abdulnasser bin Kalban
Abdulnasser bin Kalban

“Sourcing cost-effective clean power from the grid will enable EGA to lead our global industry into a more sustainable future. Today, we are taking another historic step towards achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We are also assuring that EGA’s global competitiveness will strengthen over the decades ahead, not only as of the world’s largest ‘premium aluminum’ producer but also one of its most environmentally responsible.”

The assets, located in Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah, total 6,474 megawatts of power generation capacity, predominantly combined cycle gas turbines technology. These include some of the most efficient turbines in the region, including an H-class engine in Jebel Ali that was commissioned in 2021.

TAQA’s operating company, Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (TRANSCO) would connect the power assets to the grid, as well as invest in developing the interconnections to upgrade the network to include new substations and strengthening connectivity in the UAE.

For TAQA, the acquisition of EGA’s power assets would increase the company’s UAE-based capacity to more than 22 gigawatts (GW), in line with TAQA’s growth strategy to increase domestic capacity to 30 GW by 2030.

Dubal Holding, as a 50 percent shareholder of EGA, supports EGA’s sustainability initiatives and also has its own goal of having a strong, diversified power and energy portfolio.

In December 2021, EGA acquired JA Power & Water Company, a joint venture formed by EGA’s shareholders, Mubadala Investment Company and Dubal Holding, which owns the H-class power block at EGA’s Jebel Ali site. This transaction brought all the power assets on EGA’s sites in the UAE under the company’s ownership.

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