Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Oman’s Rakiza raises USD 1 bn for infrastructure fund



Good morning, wonderful people. We hope you’re all enjoying your last morning cup of joe as the region gears up for a month of fasting.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- Muscat-based investment company Rakiza has raised USD 1 bn in its first infrastructure fund to invest in renewables, among other sectors, in Oman and Saudi Arabia. We have more on this story in the news well, below.

HAPPENING TODAY- The UN Water Conference is kicking off today and running until Friday in New York City. The conference is a midterm review of the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development launched in 2018.

OVER IN COPLAND – The COP28 Presidency called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 6th Assessment Synthesis Report an “ideal” chance to course correct and accelerate climate action while delivering fresh avenues for investment, according to a statement. The presidency stressed the importance of promoting inclusivity, shared accountability, and transparency in climate solutions, and the transformation’s potential to unlock USD tns, as well as to generate jobs and promote growth.

Ireland reiterated its commitment to limit global warming to 1.5C and its support for the UAE to make COP28 a success, Wam quotes Irish Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan as saying. Madigan said loss and damage, mitigation and emission reduction remain a key priority for Ireland and the role of developed countries in “setting global ambition ahead of COP28” and stressed that Ireland’s international climate action includes more than doubling its climate finance by 2025.

ALSO- COP28 will prioritize equity and enhanced adaptation to ensure that the most vulnerable are supported, Sultan Al Jaber said in a conversation with Bangladeshi Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shahab Uddin, COP28 tweeted.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Algeria is presenting its national hydrogen development roadmap tomorrow, according to a statement released this week. The country’s Energy and Mines Ministry will take the lead during a workshop to present the hydrogen development strategy in the presence of a number of stakeholders including the Environment and Renewable Energies Ministry and various national and international organizations.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- EU commission proposes draft plan to appease Germany: The EU commission and Germany are working on legislation allowing the sale and manufacture of combustion engine vehicles beyond the bloc’s previously agreed termination date of 2035 provided they run on e-fuels, Reuters reports. The new law would, if passed, stipulate that cars manufactured beyond mid-2030 be powered by carbon neutral fuels. A sticking point in the draft legislation is the requirement that the new category of vehicles recognize e-fuels from regular CO2-emitting counterparts, forcing manufacturers to develop new engines catering to green fuels, the news outlet notes, citing sources familiar with the matter.

REMEMBER- Germany postponed the EU’s vote to phase out combustion engine cars by 2035 in February, lobbying for a flexible approach that would not see an outright prohibition of fuel-powered cars. Germany generates some EUR 411 bn per annum as Europe’s top automaker, Bloomberg notes.

DATA POINT- Global renewable generation capacity witnessed a record 9.6% y-o-y growth in 2022, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) Renewable Capacity Statistics report. A whopping 83% of all power capacity added last year was produced by renewables, with significant growth in renewable generation capacity concentrated in Asia, the US and Europe. Almost half of all new capacity added in Asia in 2022, with China being the biggest contributor.

The Middle East recorded its highest yearly increase in renewables at 12.8% growth. Hydropower accounted for the largest increase in renewables capacity at 21 GW, followed by solar (191 GW) and wind (75 GW), with slow to modest expansion in bioenergy, geothermal energy, and off-grid electricity.

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Egypt is hosting the first meeting of the COP27 Transitional Committee from next Monday, 27 March to Wednesday, 29 March in Luxor. The event will focus on adaptation and loss and damage. The Transitional Committee’s work will include presiding over COP27’s landmark loss and damage fund created to support climate-vulnerable countries, which will take into consideration the landscape of institutions responding to loss and damage.

The UAE is hosting the International Conference on Green Energy and Environmental Technology (ICGEET) on 18 and 19 April in Dubai. The event will bring together stakeholders from academia, the healthcare industry, and the private sector to discuss energy conservation among other topics.

The first MENA Solar Conference is accepting applications from published researchers specialized in PV technology until Sunday, 30 April. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will be hosting the conference from 15 to 18 November, in conjunction with the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition and the Dubai Solar Show 2023. Researchers can submit their papers here.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.


Oman’s Rakiza raises USD 1 bn for infrastructure fund

Rakiza raises USD 1 bn fund to partly invest in renewables: Muscat-based investment company Rakiza has raised USD 1 bn in its first infrastructure fund to invest in renewables, among other sectors, in Oman and Saudi Arabia, according to a statement.

What we know: The company has already allocated 25% of its capital into three projects in Oman, including USD 600 mn in telecom towers and funding a USD 400 mn container port terminal, according to Bloomberg. Rakiza is also close to finalizing its first acquisition in Saudi Arabia, the statement notes.

What about the rest? The fund is targeting stakes in the water, energy, and renewable energy sectors of both Oman and Saudi Arabia, the statement notes. The company’s investment strategy includes funding renewables, waste-to-energy, social infrastructure, and transportation and logistics projects, according to the company website.

KSA is on board: The fund — co-managed by Oman Infrastructure Investment Management (OIM) and UK-based infrastructure developer Equitix — received a USD 300 mn capital injection from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund (PIF) to expand its portfolio last August.


Renault’s Tangier plant will produce 120k hybrid EVs in 2024

French automaker Renault group says its Tangier plant in Northern Morocco will begin to manufacture the hybrid Dacia Jogger model in 2Q 2024, Morocco World News reports, referencing a company statement.

The details: Renault Group’s Tangier manufacturing plant — launched in 2012 — will produce some 120k Dacia Jogger hybrid EVs once production is launched in the second half of next year, the news outlet notes. Renault says it plans to reskill 550 employees in its Morocco plant in a bid to acclimate them to manufacturing the EV and other upcoming models.

Renault has been securing the rare earths it needs for EV production: The company signed an agreement in June last year with Moroccan mining firm Managem for the supply of 5k tons of cobalt sulfate — to be used in EV production — for seven years starting in 2025.

Morocco isn’t slowing down plans to become an EV powerhouse: Renault Maroc is aiming to produce 17k Mobilize Duo EVs each year at its existing auto assembly plant in Tangier when it becomes fully operational. Morocco is targeting the production of around 1 mn EVs in the next three to four years, Morocco’s Industry and Commerce Minister Ryad Mezzour told Reuters last July. Renault and Stellantis already operate EV assembly facilities producing 700k cars each year. Citroen also produces around 50k EV buses per year with plans to double that output in two years.


Acwa Power appoints new CEO and managing director

Marco Arcelli (LinkedIn) will succeed Paddy Padmanathan as Acwa Power’s CEO after nearly two decades, according to a company statement released this week. Acwa Power announced Raad Al Saady (LinkedIn) would be assuming the position of vice chairman and managing director last week. The new appointments are a part of the company’s plans to expand internationally, with Arcelli using his 25+ years of international experience in energy, infrastructure and digital innovation to streamline operations and spur growth.


Greenwashing “is rampant” in the food sector with meat and dairy companies ranking as the top offenders, Bloomberg writes, citing a report (pdf) by Dutch group Changing Markets Foundation. The report found 53 examples of green claims on food products, pointing to misleading claims on the back of reduced packaging of beef jerky, seaweed-fed cows, climate-controlled pig farms, and climate-neutral certified beer that claimed neutrality through carbon offsetting. Polls by Changing Markets found that consumers were willing to pay extra for climate-neutral products.

The agrifood system produces a third of the world’s emissions: Agrifood systems are responsible for up to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to a recent report published in Nature Magazine, while a 2021 report by Chatham House found that it is the primary reason for biodiversity loss. Animal agriculture alone accounts for almost 20% of GHGs and 32% of methane emissions, reports Changing Markets.

The EC is coming for greenwashing offenders: The European Commission is due to publish a set of measures to “crack down on greenwashing by regulating how companies substantiate and communicate their green claims,” according to a statement last week.


Adnoc and Masdar to work on geothermal energy production: Abu Dhabi National Oil Drilling (Adnoc) signed a five-year non-binding agreement with UAE renewables giant Masdar to explore potential investment and development in the geothermal power sector, a company statement notes. Adnoc will serve as Masdar’s drilling technical expert for geothermal projects it is looking to develop. Masdar made its entry into geothermal energy earlier in February, acquiring shares in the geothermal unit of Indonesia’s state-owned energy firm Pertamina.

China’s Trina Solar to supply Yemen with 500 MW worth of solar panels: Chinese solar panel manufacturer Trina Solar signed a 5-year partnership agreement with Yemeni clean energy component trading company Al Rabei for Trading for the supply of photovoltaic panels that would generate some 500 MW of solar power, according to a statement. Al Rabei would act as Trina’s authorized distributor in the Yemeni market under the agreement.

UAE’s Tabreed approves record dividend payout for shareholders: The UAE’s National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) will pay out dividends of AED 0.135 per share to its shareholders, which is “the highest dividend payment to shareholders in the company’s 25-year history,” according to a disclosure. Shareholders had received dividends of AED 0.12 per share last year.


  • Moroccan garbage collecting company Arma received the kingdom’s first large electric truck from Sweden’s Volvo. The truck is the first heavy electric truck to be used for commercial purposes in Africa. (Statement)
  • Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) signed an MoU with Romania’s Nuclearelectrica to collaborate on nuclear energy program development in the two countries, as well as in Central and Eastern Europe. The collaboration aims to deploy nuclear energy for decarbonizing the power sector and heavy industry, as well as in the production of clean hydrogen. (Statement)


The Bezos Earth Fund (BEF) will provide grants totaling USD 34.5 mn to boost food security and enhance emissions accountability on a corporate level, according to a statement. BEF will allocate USD 9.9 mn for the Carbon Disclosure Project to boost corporate environmental impact disclosures, USD 9.25 mn for the GHP Protocol to standardize and enhance greenhouse gas accounting metrics, and USD 9.9 mn to Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in a bid to support their virtual livestock fencing program. The Good Food Institute will also receive a USD 5.5 mn grant from the fund, the statement notes.


Egyptian startup TileGreen will turn bns of plastic bags into interlocking outdoor paving tiles, Reuters reports. The company has recycled upward of 5 mn plastic bags at their factory in 10th of Ramadan City and aims to recycle more than 5 bn by 2025, co-founder Khaled Raafat tells the newswire.

How does it work? Plastic waste is shredded, turned into a thick sludge, and combined with other materials, then undergoes thermal treatment and high-pressure compression to produce tiles that the company claims are twice as strong as concrete. TileGreen uses different kinds of plastics and products — repurposing around 125 plastic bags per tile — which would otherwise be difficult to separate and recycle. The company has produced some 40k tiles since it began selling outdoor tiles last year.

Egypt has a plastic pollution problem: Egypt is MENA’s biggest marine-plastic waste polluter and the biggest polluter of the Mediterranean Sea, a 2022 World Bank report (pdf) found. The country’s marine plastic waste — which includes macroplastics and microplastics — is expected to double from 2010 to 2025. Egypt’s per capita plastic waste generation is among the lowest in the region, indicating that poor waste management and cheap production of single-use plastics are responsible for excessive plastic waste.


MARCH 2023

27-29 March (Monday-Wednesday): First Meeting of the Transitional Committee in Egypt focusing on Adaptation and Loss and Damage.

APRIL 2023

6 April (Thursday): Arabia CSR Awards 2022 Clinic (online).

18-19 April (Tuesday-Wednesday): International Conference on Green Energy and Environmental Technology (ICGEET), Dubai, UAE.

MAY 2023

1-4 May (Monday-Thursday): Arabian Travel Market, Dubai, UAE.

2-7 May (Tuesday-Sunday): Salon International de l’Agriculture au Maroc (SIAM), Meknes, Morocco.

4-6 May (Thursday-Saturday): International 100% Renewable Energy Conference (IRENEC), Istanbul, Turkey.

8-10 May (Monday-Wednesday): Global Green Future Fuel, Dubai, UAE.

9 May (Tuesday): World Hydrogen 2023 Summit & Exhibition, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

9-10 May (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Solar Show MENA, Cairo, Egypt.

16-18 May (Tuesday-Thursday): Seatrade Maritime Logistics Middle East, Dubai, UAE.

29-31 May (Monday-Wednesday): Electric Vehicle Innovation Summit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

30 May-1 June (Tuesday-Thursday): Global Sustainable Development Congress, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), KSA.

JUNE 2023

1-3 June (Thursday-Saturday): Envirotec and Energie Expo, Tunis, Tunisia.

12-15 June (Monday-Thursday): Saudi Plastics & Petrochem, Riyadh, KSA.

13-14 June (Tuesday- Wednesday) The Arab Green Summit, Dubai, UAE.

13-14 June (Tuesday- Wednesday) Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa Conference, Marrakesh, Morocco.

JULY 2023

3-7 July (Monday-Friday): The 36th Conference of the International Association of Climatology, Bucharest, Romania.


20 August-24 August (Sunday-Wednesday): World Water Week 2023, Stockholm, Sweden.


9-20 September (Saturday-Wednesday): 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Summit, New York, U.S..

11-13 September (Monday-Wednesday): Global Congress on Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy, Dubai, UAE.

Chariot Limited and Total Eren’s feasibility study on a 10 GW green hydrogen plant in Mauritania to be completed.


2-4 October (Monday-Wednesday): WETEX and Dubai Solar Show, Dubai, UAE.

4 October (Wednesday): Arabia CSR Gala Awarding Ceremony, UAE.

16-18 October (Monday-Wednesday): Climate Week, Rome, Italy.

31 October – 2 November (Tuesday-Thursday): World Hydropower Conference, Bali, Indonesia.


9-10 November (Thursday-Friday): International Renewable Energy Agency Investment Forum, Uruguay.

30 November – 12 December: Conference of the Parties (COP 28), Dubai, UAE.



KSA’s Neom wants to tender three concrete water reservoir projects to up its water storage capacity by 6 mn liters.


Early 2023: Egypt’s KarmSolar to launch KarmCharge, the company’s EV charging venture.

1Q2023: Oman will award two blocks of land for green hydrogen projects in Duqm, Oman.

Mid-2023: Sale of Sembcorp Energy India Limited to consortium of Omani investors to close.

Phase C of the 900-MW of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai to be completed.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) steam cracker furnace powered by renewable energy to come online.

4Q2023: Oman to award four blocks of land for green hydrogen projects in Thumrait, Oman.


End-2024: Emirati Masdar’s 500 MW wind farm in Uzbekistan to begin commercial operations.

QatarEnergy’s industrial cities solar power project will start electricity production.

First 1.5 GW phase of Morocco’s Xlinks solar and wind energy project to be operational.


Second 1.5 GW phase of Morocco’s Xlinks solar and wind energy project to be operational.

UAE to have over 1k EV charging stations installed.


1Q 2026: QatarEnergy’s USD 1 bn blue ammonia plant to be completed.

End-2026: HSBC Bahrain to eliminate single-use PVC plastic cards.

Iraq’s Mass Group Holding wants to invest EUR 1 bn on its thermal plant Mintia in Romania to have 62% of run on renewable energy, while expanding its energy capacity to at least 1.29k MWh.


MENA’s district cooling market is expected to reach USD 15 bn.


UAE’s Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) wants to provide AED 35 bn in green financing.

UAE targets 14 GW in clean energy capacity.

Tunisia targets 30% of renewables in its energy mix.

Qatar wants to generate USD 17 bn from its circular economy, creating 9k-19k jobs.

Morocco’s Xlinks solar and wind energy project to generate 10.5 GW of energy.


Qatar to capture up to 11 mn tons of CO2 annually.


Qatar’s Public Works Authority’s (Ashghal) USD 1.5 bn sewage treatment facility to reach 600k cm/d capacity.


Nigeria aims to achieve its net-zero emissions target.

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