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Wednesday, 15 November 2023

TODAY: Tabreed’s pilot project using new tech for district cooling is a success

Good morning, wonderful people. It’s a quiet morning on the regional climate industry front as we skip into the weekend, but a good news bad news day for UAE’s Tabreed…

OUR TOP CLIMATE STORIES- The UAE’s National Cooling Company (Tabreed) announced the results of a pilot project it carried out over the summer exploring how integrating nanofluid technology in the district cooling sector can lead to energy savings, but also reported a net loss of AED 127.8 mn in 3Q 2023.

^^ We have the details on these stories and more in the news well, below.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- The US and China partner to boost global renewables production: In a breakthrough in bilateral relations, the US and China have pledged support for the G20’s declaration on tripling global renewables production by 2030, according to a joint statement. After three-days of talks, US climate envoy John Kerry and Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua committed to supporting “meaningful absolute power sector emission reductions” by accelerating coal, oil, and gas substitution. The world’s top two emitters agreed to count all non-carbon greenhouse gasses — including methane and nitrous oxide — in the update of their national climate strategies. The US and China — whose climate partnership is vital to reaching a consensus agreement at COP28 — had severed climate ties following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s state visit to autonomous Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

The story made headlines in the international press: The New York Times | Reuters | BBC | The Financial Times | CNN | The Guardian

OVER AT COPLAND- Developing countries want fairer supply chains ahead of COP28: Amidst a global energy transition that relies heavily on Africa’s critical minerals, the African Union is calling for fairer cleantech supply chains that ensure benefits to the continent’s local economies, Energy Monitor writes. “We have great opportunities [in Africa], including an abundance of renewable energy resources and development minerals, but we are not seeing development on our continent as we would have wished it to be," said the African Union’s Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure Amani Abou-Zeid.

An unequal supply chain: There is a clear mismatch between the economic benefits of the developing countries in ownership of mineral reserves, compared with the countries dominating the clean tech supply chains, the report added, citing comments made by CEO of India-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water Arunabha Ghosh.

Cooperation is key: Abou-Zeid also mentioned the importance of facilitating technology transfers and improving investment attraction. Examples of such cooperation include the US working with local gov'ts in Congo and Zambia to manufacture batteries from the minerals extracted locally — rather than exporting them for manufacture — and Austria working with Tunisia to explore possibilities for powering the steel and chemical industries with green hydrogen.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Morocco’s Neo Motors plans IPO to fund new EV development: Moroccan carmaker Neo Motors is planning to IPO on the Casablanca Stock Exchange and use part of the funds raised for the production of EVs within three years, CEO Nassim Belkhayat told Bloomberg. The carmaker also plans to use a portion of the funds to ramp up its annual production of conventional vehicles to 15k units within three years — up from the current production capacity of 3k units. Neo is currently in talks with the African Development Bank on additional financing options, Belkhayat added.

Morocco is preparing big for EVs: Morocco-based pan-African investment fund Al Mada teamed up with Chinese battery giant CNGR Advanced Material Company to build a MAD 20 bn (USD 2 bn) industrial base for battery parts production and recycling in Morocco that will provide battery CAM materials to over 1 mn EVs per year. Global automaker Stellantis also announced it will manufacture a new battery-powered Fiat 600 compact SUV in Morocco last July. Moroccan mining lab Mincape also partnered with Canadian firm Elcora last month to increase supplies of manganese for the growing EV battery market.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Petrofac is eyeing more projects in our region: UK-based oilfield services provider Petrofac is bidding on a few projects in the MENA region, senior vice president Khaled Al-Shrouf told Zawya. Petrofac aims to focus on decarbonization in the region through a diverse range of activities including decommissioning aging plants, reducing the carbon intensity of existing assets, establishing lower intensity conventional hydrocarbon facilities, and investing in wind, hydrogen and carbon capture projects, Al-Shrouf added.

REMEMBER- Adnoc Gas, Adnoc’s integrated gas processing company, awarded a USD 615 mn engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to Petrofac Emirates to build carbon capture infrastructure at the Habshan gas processing plant in Abu Dhabi last month with a capacity of 1.5 mn tons of CO2 annually.

WATCH THIS SPACE #3- Saudi Arabia is looking east at Pakistan’s mining sector: Saudi Arabia is reportedly looking to snap up stakes in Pakistan's Reko Diq gold and copper mine, Reuters reports, citing a source familiar with the matter. The copper-gold mine is 50% owned by Canadian mining firm Barrick Gold, which in August said it could invest as much as USD 10 bn to tap into the project’s full potential. Pakistan’s government and the state of Balochistan own the remainder of the mine’s shares.

There’s been whispers for months: Barrick said back in July it is open to selling shares to KSA and began negotiations with the kingdom earlier this month on the project. Emirati consulting firm RB&A has been reportedly tapped by the Pakistani government to serve as the international adviser and will complete a valuation of the state’s stake in the mining project by 25 December, Arab News reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

WATCH THIS SPACE #4- Siemens Energy reviews wind unit after major losses: German energy giant Siemens Energy is reviewing its struggling wind turbine business after its subsidiary Siemens Gamesa caused EUR 4.6 bn in annual net losses for the group, Reuters reports. The company has secured a EUR 12 bn credit line from private banks — partly backed by the German government — alleviating investor concerns. Siemens does not plan to make any further provisions for faulty onshore turbines, but it will review its subsidiary's activities which includes the manufacturing of blades and turbines. The group is expected to provide further details before the end of the month.

This came as no surprise: Siemens Gamesa — a major player in Egypt’s wind energy sector — started finding a substantial increase in failure rates for the turbines' components in June. The company's factories and sales offices were expected to shut down after EUR 2.2 bn losses earlier this year.


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The UAE will host the Aviation and Alternative Fuels conference from Monday, 20 November to Friday, 24 November in Dubai. The event will bring together senior government officials and international organizations to assess progress in the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and lower-carbon aviation fuel (LCAF) measured according to the targets outlined in the 2050 Vision for SAF, agreed upon at the last Aviation and Alternative Fuels conference in 2017.

The UAE will host the Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW) from Monday, 27 November to Thursday, 30 November in Abu Dhabi. The event will gather government officials, banks, financial institutions, and VCs to delve into today’s economic, technological, and sustainability conversations.

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

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