Taqa plans $5bn acquisitions this year

The Taqa acquisitions will include power plants in Saudi Arabia and the US. (AFP)

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) plans to make four major acquisitions worth $5 billion (Dh18.35bn) in North Africa, Saudi Arabia, the US and Europe by the end of the year.

Talks on two of the deals are well advanced and should be concluded soon, said CEO Peter Barker-Homek. The other two are expected to be finalised in the second half of the year.

Taqa also plans to bid in the next six weeks to set up two power plants in Saudi Arabia and a wind-power plant in Morocco. Of the four new aqcuisitions, Barker-Homek said two, worth $2.5bn, in North Africa and Europe would be announced in the coming months.

"Our main focus is on investment in upstream, midstream and downstream water and power projects in the Middle East and North Africa, Southeast Asia, North America and Europe," he said. "The strategic goal is to acquire and enhance energy and water assets across these regions."

He said Taqa had submitted a bid for the Saudi power plant. He refused to give further details or a transaction timeline though he revealed that the plant ran on oil and gas.

"Details of the bid for the Moroccan plant will be announced soon," he said.

Barker-Homek said Taqa was working on a deal with a major US utility company.

"The agreement is expected to go through in the third quarter of this year. It will be a 50-50 joint venture with Taqa owning the assets."

He said Taqa had commercial debts of Dh40.4bn and its total assets stood at Dh77bn.

"We expect the company's assets to reach Dh220bn in 2012 – we are growing by 25 per cent annually. Though Taqa is a young company its financial performance has been very sound and encouraging.

"Total revenues in the first quarter of this year grew to Dh4bn from Dh1bn in the same period in 2007. The net for the quarter rose to Dh398 million compared with Dh64m in the same quarter in 2007."

Taqa, which was established in June 2005, provides more than 90 per cent of Abu Dhabi's water and power requirements through its subsidiaries.

Barker-Homek said the company had adequate energy reserves for its water and power plants.

"We have back-up resources. We have 550 million barrels of proven and probable reserves and there is no water or power shortage in Abu Dhabi.

"With fast infrastructure development and growth we are bringing along our plans in the right way."