Ministers from the UAE and Iraq virtually witnessed the signing ceremony.
If there is one company that is a shining torch-bearer for sustainability and innovation, it is Abu Dhabi's renewable energy firm Masdar. Since it was set up 15 years ago, the company has been one of the key entities spearheading the nation's economic diversification and climate action.
Masdar has done fascinating eco-friendly work in some countries. It developed the first large-scale renewable energy project in the Seychelles: eight wind turbines across two islands.
It has crafted Southeast Asia’s biggest floating solar PV power plant, the first of its kind for Indonesia. It is also developing both solar and wind projects in nations such as Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
It has taken the heft of exploring hydrogen as a clean energy source to a whole new level: it has committed to developing a hydrogen demonstrator in Masdar City.
Now it has signed a strategic agreement with the Republic of Iraq to develop Solar Photovoltaic (PV) projects in the country with a minimum total capacity of two gigawatts (GW).
The pact was inked at a virtual ceremony by Majid A. Hantosh, Iraqi Minister of Electricity; Suha Al-Najar, President of the National Investment Commission of Iraq; and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.
The signing took place in the presence of Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail, Iraqi Minister of Oil; Suhail Bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; and Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade.
Commenting on the agreement, Ismail said, “The Government intends to increase and enhance the national production of clean energy. Through this agreement with Masdar, we will generate 2 GW of solar power through projects in central and southern Iraq. Iraq is targeting 20 to 25 per cent of energy coming from renewable sources, rather than fossil fuels, equivalent to 10 to 12 GW.
“This agreement with Masdar, a global leader in renewable energy, is an important step in the development of the clean energy investment sector and the exploitation of solar energy in Iraq.”
Al Mazrouei, in turn, said, “We are grateful to the Government of Iraq for providing Masdar with the opportunity to contribute to the implementation of Iraq’s renewable energy strategy. The UAE is committed to working with Iraq to develop sustainable energy resources. This initiative also highlights the importance of public and private sector partnerships in finding affordable solutions.
“Masdar has been a pioneer in developing clean energy projects, and is now active in more than 30 countries around the world, with a total value of more than $20 billion and a production capacity exceeding 11 gigawatts. Masdar will leverage the expertise it has built up through these projects to support Iraq on its clean energy journey,” he noted.
Al Ramahi said, “The UAE shares Iraq’s commitment to diversify away from a dependence on oil and gas and to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources. We are proud to support the Government of Iraq on this vital stage in its clean energy journey and we will leverage our expertise to deliver a more sustainable future for the nation.”
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