Taqa to acquire power plant in US - Emirates24|7

Taqa to acquire power plant in US



Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) is looking at acquiring 2,000 megawatts of power generation capacity in North America for about $2 billion (Dh7.3bn), the company’s CEO said yesterday.

It is also eyeing about 5,000 megawatts of power projects in Saudi Arabia in a joint venture with Saudi’s Zamil Group, Peter Barker-Homek told reporters on the sidelines of an energy event in Qatar’s capital Doha. “We are looking at picking up 2,000MW in North America... if we proceed it will be worth about $2bn,” he said, declining to be more specific.    

Taqa is 75 per cent owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, which controls more than 90 per cent of the oil reserves in the UAE. The UAE is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter.

The projects in Saudi Arabia would be worth “upwards of $5bn,” said Barker-Homek. With Zamil “together we are looking at developing co-generation plants in industrial cities with up to 5,000MW (of power generation capacity)”, he said.

Barker-Homek said Taqa and Zamil would split investment equally in the projects.

The new power plants in Saudi Arabia would have a construction time of three to five years.

Power generation capacity in the world’s largest oil exporter needs to grow threefold over the next 25 years to meet future demand, Ibrahim el-Amin, professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia said last month. Capacity needs to rise to 115,000MW in 2032, from current capacity or around 35,000MW, he said. 

Taqa, which last year agreed on more than $10bn of acquisitions from Canada to India, plans to triple the value of assets to $60bn by end of 2012, a figure Barker-Homek said the company remained on course to amass.

Taqa’s acquisition rate has not slowed due to the global credit crisis, and if anything there have been more opportunities for Taqa to evaluate, said Barker-Homek.

“The number of opportunities has gone up 10-fold. We are in a good position to pick what we want to infill our portfolio,” he said.

The firm had no plans to tap the debt markets in the next couple of months and had a credit facility in place for any upcoming acquisitions, said Barker-Homek.

Taqa said in January it had agreed a $3.1bn, one-year credit facility with several international lenders. The firm in January wrapped up its C$5bn (Dh18bn) acquisition of Canada’s PrimeWest Energy Trust, its third Canadian purchase in less than a year.

Barker-Homek said the firm’s oil and gas drilling programme in Canada had achieved a replacement rate of 120 per cent.
Taqa produces around 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day on its Canadian oil and gas assets, he said. (Reuters)
Moody’s keeps stable outlook

Moody’s Investors Service maintained a stable outlook with an Aa2 rating on Taqa, the ratings agency said in a report. “Taqa has made seven acquisitions over the last 18 months in excess of $10 billion, making it the largest rated borrower from the GCC region. This has also broadened its footprint into new energy markets in Europe, India, Africa and North America, with non-UAE revenues now constituting about 43 per cent of total 2007 revenues,” Moody’s said.

Taqa’s Aa2 rating is supported by its close association with the government of Abu Dhabi, the report added.