Taqa to turn its focus to clean energy


Leading from the front: CEO Peter Barker-Homek says Taqa’s assets will probably grow 12-fold over the next 50 years from $60bn expected in 2012


The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) will turn 50 per cent of its exposure to clean renewable energy by 2058, when its assets under management are set to rise to $270 billion (Dh990.9bn), a senior executive told Emirates Business. 

State-controlled Taqa’s assets are likely to increase 12-fold over the next 50 years from $60bn expected in 2012, said Chief Executive Peter Barker-Homek.

By 2058, approximately $13bn will go towards renewable technologies, he said, as Abu Dhabi looks to diversify its economy away from oil dependency.

The firm would look to fuel expansion through acquisitions and investments in new technologies such as fuel-cells, hydrogen generation and bio-fuels.

Allocations to wind, solar and wave power would also form part of the growth plans. “In 50 years time, renewables or clean-burning technologies will have made quantum leaps. I would not be surprised if we are 50 per cent or more renewable or new technology in terms of our types of investments and the projects we will be financing,” he said.

“In 50 years time, we would be looking at 12 times the $60bn expected in 2012, which is $720bn.”

He added: “We will be investing in fuel-cells on an industrial scale, hydrogen generation and bio-fuels – but not today’s bio-fuels that use food stocks but those that have a stock that’s specially used to generate bio-fuels, so you are not taking food out of the mix. There will also be big in-roads into wind, wave and solar power.”

He said Abu Dhabi-based Taqa, which currently supplies 85 per cent of the emirate’s water and power needs, would have greater involvement in the research and development of emerging technologies in the same way that pharmaceutical companies invest in labs exploring new medicines.

“Today we are involved in conventional oil and gas, but our portfolio mix and the technologies we buy will change as the market develops. We would imagine a world 50 years from now that is much more renewable focused or higher technology focused, so we would move the portfolio in that direction,” he said.

He added: “We stay mindful of all technologies in the markets in which we operate and invest in proven technologies, so we are not taking R&D risk at this point. We would probably be looking to get more into R&D 10 years from now, just like we are getting more into exploration in the upstream.”

Taqa, which is 75 per cent owned by Abu Dhabi Government and 25 per cent by UAE nationals, also supplies 60 per cent of power needs of Morocco and 80 per cent to Ghana.

The company recently announced plans to sell Dh4.1bn of convertible bonds in the coming months.


Company reports 525% rise in first-quarter profit


Strong oil prices and a wave of global acquisitions boosted net profit of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) by a staggering 525 per cent in the first quarter of this year, the company said yesterday.

From Dh64 million in the first quarter of 2007, the net earnings jumped to Dh398m in the first quarter of this year, Taqa said in a statement. Total revenue also rose by nearly 279 per cent to Dh4 billion from Dh1bn in the same period as the company benefited from a surge in oil and gas prices and pursued the integration of ventures it acquired last year.

The company, which was created by the Abu Dhabi Government three years ago, said the high earnings were generated by all sectors, including oil and gas activities, acquisitions, water and electricity and storage.

“The results for the first quarter of 2008 tell a very different story to that of first quarter of 2007 due to acquisitions made during the year. Integration has been a major focus for the quarter and for the first time we can begin to see the impact of the acquisitions we have made in the past year, including PrimeWest, the company’s largest acquisition to date,” said Peter Barker-Homek, Chief Executive Officer.

“I am proud to report a profit of Dh398m for the quarter, which has boosted the Earnings Per Share.” (Nadim Kawach)