Thursday, 3 November 2022

What to expect from COP27



Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We have a stacked issue for you today with a roundup of what to expect when COP27 kicks off in Egypt on Sunday. Implementation and climate finance are at the top of the agenda — topics that are natural lead-ins to the stories that are driving the agenda this morning:

DRIVING THE AGENDA this fine Thursday morning- Egypt’s electricity minister is in KSA pitching investors on a raft of renewables projects just days after signing agreements for a 10 GW wind power plant. Meanwhile, Brazil is in talks with KSA on a “green” steel mega hub, and Oman is looking to decarbonize its waste management practices and expand on solar.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- British PM Rishi Sunak is attending COP27 after all: The UK’s newly-appointed prime minister, Rishi Sunak, has U-turned on his plan to skip COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, announcing in a tweet yesterday that he would attend the summit along with over 100 heads of state.

The story is attracting coverage in the international press: Reuters | Guardian | Financial Times | Bloomberg

THE COUNTDOWN TO COP (3 days to go)-

Now that COP27 is nearly upon us, all eyes are on MENA. Here are thoughts on what you can expect, whether you’re on the ground in Sharm El Sheikh or keeping an eye on proceedings from the comfort of your office.

BUT FIRST- Do you have news coming out of COP? A top exec who’s like to have a chat? Send press releases, statements, communiques and interview requests our way on

Host country Egypt has called this the “COP of implementation,” looking to move away from negotiation — a focal point of COP26 — to delivery: The presidential vision statement calls for “full, timely, inclusive, and at-scale action on the ground,” and leading government voices have emphasized that moving from pledges to implementation is a priority.

What does that mean? Emerging and frontier economies want rich countries to literally show them the money: to help finance investment, particularly when it comes to climate-related businesses — and really step things up when it comes to financial compensation for loss and damage from the impact of climate change.

Also: Funding for development. Egypt climate Czar Mahmoud Mohieldin will also remind attendees that wealthy countries need to step up funding for economic development as part of that process (here and here).

Why? Wealthy nations are the ones who broke our planet as they developed their economies. Having achieved a nice standard of living and social development, they’re now effectively pulling up the ladder and saying to frontier and emerging markets, “You people down there need to cut your carbon emissions, because we really don’t want to cook ourselves off the planet.”

So what can we expect from the conference?

Announcements on climate-friendly projects… Egypt will unveil its national green hydrogen strategy at COP27. We could also see some of its green hydrogen MoUs turn to concrete agreements — keep an eye out for the Scatec / Fertiglobe / Orascom Construction and ReNew Power projects in particular. We may also hear more details about Oman’s ambitious strategy to increase green hydrogen investments to USD 140 bn by 2050. Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) will announce incentives for hydrogen-powered ships — including reduced tariffs to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels. Saudi Arabia is being very aggressive on green investment of late, and we expect the good people at Hassan Allam, Acwa Power and others to have plenty to say.

…And funding: Egypt will announce several green finance allocations in partnership with Japan, China, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) — targeting sustainable development and green transport projects. The country’s International Cooperation Ministry is also set to provide USD 1 bn-worth of financing agreements with companies investing in the sustainability of the transportation, housing, electricity, finance, and irrigation sectors as part of the Egypt Partnership for Climate Transition (E-Pact) initiative. Some 50 climate and development projects — shortlisted by a joint UN-Egypt climate finance roadshowwill be showcased at COP27, with a view to securing financing. The World Bank plans to launch the Scaling Climate Action by Lowering Emissions (Scale) fund — which will mobilize funding to provide grants to developing countries for green projects.

Climate finance provision will be front and center — particularly around the thorny issue of loss and damage: Egypt will champion climate financing for Africa and emerging economies, with an emphasis on loss and damage — spearheading talks about what exactly constitutes adequate climate financing for African nations. It will be supported in this by prominent voices — including UN Climate Champion Mahmoud Mohieldin — who has repeatedly called for talks about economic compensation.

As will DFIs’ “key” role in providing funding for the private sector and helping structure projects properly so they can more easily access this funding, which EBRD Egypt head Khalid Hamza told EnterpriseAM and the International Finance Corporation’s Emmanuel Nyirinkindi recently told Enterprise Climate.

NDC revision and country climate strategies will be under the spotlight: Egypt will urge developed countries to honor their climate pledges — including updated national plans with more ambitious targets, agreed upon at COP26 — despite recent economic turbulence and concerns over energy security. So far, only 23 out of 193 countries have submitted their plans to the UN. Revision of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) will be a top COP27 priority, Foreign Minister and COP27 President Designate Sameh Shoukry has said (watch, runtime: 6:00). And Egypt will announce a new initiative to counter climate change and revision of its national carbon emission reduction plan.

Keep an eye out for more news about NWFE: Egypt is unveiling a new program — the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) — through which it will promote its pipeline of low-carbon projects to investors. The country’s International Cooperation Ministry announced yesterday that it’s inking multiple green financing agreements totaling USD 15 bn — including grants and low-interest loans — with Egyptian private sector firms to fund nine projects in the renewable energy, food security, irrigation, and desalination sectors, under NWFE. A recently-secured USD 2 bn loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development to boost investment in food, energy, and water is also being disbursed through NWFE.

There are going to be lots and lots and lots of corporate events…


Among the days and themes that we think are most relevant to MENA business leaders:

  • World leaders’ summit: 7-8 November (more details here)
  • Finance day: 9 November
  • Decarbonization day: 11 November
  • Adaptation and agriculture day: 12 November
  • Water day: 14 November
  • Energy day: 15 November

COP sub-events on which you’ll want to keep an eye:

Detailed schedule: Download as a pdf here or check out the website here.

COP27 app for attendees: App Store and the Google Play Store.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Geopolitics is going to mess with the rate at which we all transition to EVs: Soaring prices of essential battery components — driven by a combination of geopolitical volatility, raw material supply chain disruptions and inflation — are set to stall electric vehicle (EV) adoption and the energy transition, according to an S&P Global report published on Monday.

We’re talking hefty price increases: The price per ton of lithium hydroxide — a key battery metal — currently stands at some USD 80k, a 344% increase from roughly USD 18k in 2019, while lithium carbonate stands at roughly USD 74k/ton, a 428% increase from some USD 14k/ton in 2019, S&P data shows.

And complex, China-dominated supply chains: Sourcing elements — including lithium, nickel, and cobalt — to manufacture EV batteries and other key components involves a “lengthy and complex” development chain, with multiple “choke points,” S&P notes. China currently dominates the market in refining these materials and assembling battery cells, it notes, creating “a challenging lack of geographic diversity.”

China will likely continue leading the pack: New companies are set to play “a major role” in EV battery tech development, S&P says, but major auto companies hoping to bypass the “cost-effective supply of processed materials” coming from or through China could face challenges from geopolitical trade disruptions, it adds. Some will also actively seek “locked-in” supply chains with established players, it notes.

Apparently, Saudi didn’t get the memo: Saudi Arabia’s planning a strategic shift to become “a leading green metal refining and processing hub,” with plans to build strong EV value chains as part of its diversification away from hydrocarbons, Saudi Mining Minister Bandar Al Khorayef said, according to Reuters. It plans to award more than a dozen mining exploration licenses to international investors, with five new exploration sites currently up for grabs and another ten slated for next year, he added. It plans to attract some USD 32 bn in investment in its mining and mineral sector, he said.

Growing demand will feed into the challenges: S&P Global Mobility forecasts annual market demand from auto manufacturers of some 3.4 Terawatt hours (TWh) of lithium-ion batteries by 2030. The output from the auto industry in 2021 was a mere 0.29 TWh.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Tawadul-listed Adnoc and Siemens Energy will launch a blockchain tech trial to measure the oil giant’s carbon footprint, WAM reports. The tech will compile data from Adnoc’s entire operational chain via smart sensors measuring the amount of carbon dioxide needed to generate energy sources including aviation fuel and ammonia. The data will then be rerouted to a decentralized blockchain registry to enable regulators to verify the “carbon intensity” of different Adnoc operations and inform customers about the carbon footprint of various products, WAM notes.


In Abu Dhabi: The last day of Adipec kicks off, gathering some 40 ministers from around the world including the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Egypt. Discussions will partly focus on the transition toward carbon neutrality. Hosted by Adnoc, Adipec bills itself as “the world's most influential gathering for energy industry professionals.” Tap or click here to register.

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The Hawkamah Annual Conference (Building Investor Confidence Through Governance) will kick off on Tuesday, 15 November in Dubai. The conference will address governance from the perspective of investors including expectations and interaction with boards as well as the role of regulators and companies in preparing for IPOs to attract the right investors.

Saudi Arabia’s Education Ministry will host the Global Conference on Sustainable Partnerships on Wednesday, 23 November to Thursday, 24 November in Riyadh, bringing together ministers and senior officials from the private and public sectors. The conference will focus on transforming innovations and scientific research to achieve integration between universities, research, development and the innovation sector.

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


Egypt is lining up another USD 3 bn in KSA investment in renewables

Egypt in talks with Saudi firms on renewables: Egypt’s Electricity Ministry is in talks with six Saudi firms over more than USD 3 bn worth of renewable energy projects as Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker visits Riyadh, Bloomberg Asharq reports, citing unnamed sources at Egypt’s state-owned electricity companies.

Who is Egypt meeting with? Al Fanar, FAS Energy, and Acwa Power are among the companies Shaker is currently in Riyadh holding meetings with, the sources reportedly said. Egypt signed an agreement with Acwa Power on a 10 GW wind farm earlier this week. Shaker is also reportedly meeting with Saudi financing institutions to help drum up investment for the projects.

The timeline: Agreements for wind and solar projects could be signed during Shaker’s visit, one source told Bloomberg Asharq, while the two green hydrogen projects could be signed during COP27. The country’s cabinet had already signaled to expect one green hydrogen agreement to be signed with Acwa Power during Shaker’s visit, among other renewables projects.

Some of these companies are already investing in Egypt: Besides its new wind farm project, Acwa Power and Egypt’s Hassan Allam Holding signed an agreement in June to develop a 1.1 GW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez. Al Fanar also inked an MoU to build a green hydrogen and ammonia facility and another to explore wind energy projects earlier this year, while FAS Energy already has a 50 MW solar power plant at the Benban complex. FAS Energy CEO Sabri Asfour told EnterpriseAM earlier this year that the company is planning to construct another 500 MW solar plant and plans to invest in Egypt’s green hydrogen sector.

IN CONTEXT- Egypt is aiming to produce 42% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, a target announced during last year’s COP26 summit. This is five years earlier than the country’s previous target.


Oman opens tender on another solar project

Oman’s OPWP launches tender for 500 MW solar PV project: The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has kicked off an open tender for a 500 MW IPP solar PV project, with a deadline to submit bids next Tuesday, 8 November, according to a company statement last week. The Ibri III project is set to come online by 4Q 2026. No financial details were revealed yet.

Background: OPWP inaugurated the Ibri II solar PV project in January, the nation’s first grid-connected solar power project. The OMR 155 mn (USD 402.6 mn) project was funded by a consortium of investors including Saudi’s Acwa Power (50%), Kuwait-based investment firm Gulf Investment Corporation (40%), and Kuwait-based Alternative Energy Projects Co. (10%).

OPWP is going big on solar: OPWP is currently assessing tenders for a 1.2 GW project divided into two phases southwest of Muscat, ranging between 500 and 600 MW each, the Oman Observer reported last week.


Brazil’s Vale kicking tires on USD 1 bn ‘green’ steel plant in KSA

Brazil and KSA explore green iron production in Saudi: Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Development Center (NIDC) and Brazilian mining group Vale signed an MoU during Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative last month to study establishing on a USD 1.1 bn iron ore pellet “mega hub,” S&P Global reports, citing the NIDC.

The details: The plant would produce 4 mn tons of iron ore pellets annually in KSA’s Ras Al-Khair industrial zone, S&P Global reports. Vale will build and operate the iron ore concentration and briquetting plants within the hubs while companies in KSA will land contracts to build out logistics infrastructure, according to a company statement. Timelines for construction and funding details are yet to be announced.

How is the ore green? Vale produces hot briquetted iron using natural gas, emitting up to 60% less carbon, and the replacement of natgas with hydrogen, coupled with the use of renewable energy, could eliminate carbon emissions altogether, according to the statement.

KSA’s steel production is ramping up: The Kingdom’s crude steel production increased by 3.1% y-o-y in 9M 2022, S&P reports, citing figures from the World Steel Association. Saudi Arabia currently has a capacity of 16 mn tons per year, which it produces via a process called Direct Reduced Iron. The new plant will increase the peninsula’s steel capacity to drive the construction and industry sectors forward.

Regional plans in the pipeline: The mining company also has separate MoUs with the UAE and Oman. Vale will study the feasibility for iron ore pellet mega hubs with the UAE’s Steel Arkan (ESA) — which has been trying to “greenify” the steel industry — and with Oman’s Commerce and Industry Ministry.


Oman set to decarbonize waste management

Oman’s Be’ah and OQT sign agreement to decarbonize waste management: Oman’s OQ Trading (OQT) — a state-owned international energy and commodity-trading company — signed a cooperation agreement with state-owned solid waste management firm Oman Environmental Service Holding Company (Be’ah) on Tuesday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oman’s waste management industry.

The scope: The agreement creates a framework for the two organizations to design and develop decarbonization projects in waste management and waste-to-energy, Omani publication Muscat Daily reports. No information was given about potential investments in these projects or their size.

How will they do it? Potential areas of collaboration include landfill rehabilitation projects to reduce biogas and methane emissions, Muscat Daily notes, which involves sealing off a landfill, collecting and treating landfill gas and revegetating the area.

Carbon credit schemes could be on the menu: OQT and Be’ah might also participate in recycling credit systems, Muscat Daily notes. Recycling credit schemes give incentives for the collection and recycling of waste by allowing businesses or households and third party collectors to generate “credits” according to the amount of waste collected and recycled.

Carbon market revenues: OQT and Be’ah hope to generate revenues by engaging with international compliance and voluntary carbon markets. Carbon trading puts a price tag on polluting activities by allowing companies to buy and sell carbon credits that are tied to their emissions.

Be’ah is already developing a waste trading platform: The platform will offer an online auction and allow trading in recyclable solid waste, the Oman Daily Observer said in September, as we have previously noted. It will also see a ticker displaying local prices for waste materials. Local recyclers usually opt to ship their recyclable waste abroad due to higher market prices, instead of recycling and turning it into higher-value products at home, the publication said.


EmiratesGBC’s MENA Green Building Awards recognizes sustainability efforts: Several MENA companies were recognized for their work to advance sustainability, according to a statement picked up by Zawya. The Green Building Products of the Year award in energy management was given to Dubai-based energy company Taka Solutions’ Takaunify platform, The Net Zero Building Project of the Year accolade was secured by trade and logistics firm AD Ports Group for their CMA Terminals Khalifa Port Administration Building, and the Developer of the Year award was snapped up by Abu Dhabi-headquartered real estate company Aldar.

Canada’s Plastic Bank and Henkel Egypt celebrated the collection of more than 300 mn plastic bottles in less than two years, Zawya reports.

Aquafina introduced 100% recycled bottles in Qatar, according to Doha News. The bottles are manufactured from repurposed plastic waste.

Two Moroccan airports — Rabat-Salé and Fès Saïss — have been inducted into level 1 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation Organization for meeting carbon footprint measurement requirements, according to a statement.

UAE’s Masdar’s Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform launched its #IAmWiSER campaign yesterday to promote more inclusivity in the fight against climate change. Take the pledge here.

EGX-listed CIB, Egypt’s largest private-sector bank, is launching a sustainability initiative to help SMEs achieve their sustainable development targets in line with Egypt’s 2030 Vision, according to Al Mal.

Three Egyptian ministries signed an agreement to plant 5 mn trees across the country as part of the 100 mn trees initiative, according to a cabinet statement.

Emirates Global Aluminium is the first UAE-headquartered firm to join the First Movers Coalition by committing to sourcing the materials it needs for aluminum production from low-carbon sources, WAM reports.


Indonesia expands trade in Dubai: Indonesia’s state-owned agrochemicals company PT Pupuk Indonesia will open an office in Dubai to expand trading cooperation in ammonia with UAE firms, according to a company statement picked up by Zawya. The country is angling to become a green hydrogen and ammonia producer, and to bolster food security through providing raw materials needed for the agriculture sector, according to the statement.

ALSO- Morocco-based Bank of Africa Group (BOA) signed two agreements with the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency and the Renewable Energy Cluster to finance projects aiming to accelerate decarbonization efforts, Morocco World News reports.


Qatar lands Guinness World Record for its jogging trail: Umm Al Seneem Park in Al Rayyan City was recognized as the world’s largest air-conditioned outdoor path, The Peninsula Qatar reports. 60% of the 1.1k meter-long track’s air conditioners are powered by solar panels, enabling the trail to sustain a breezy temperature of 26°C during scorching summer months, Doha News notes.



31 October-3 November (Monday-Thursday): ADIPEC, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

7-18 November (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

15 November (Tuesday): Hawkamah Annual Conference (Building Investor Confidence Through Governance), Dubai, UAE.

23-24 November (Wednesday-Thursday): Global Conference on Sustainable Partnerships, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Deadline of bid submissions for the Ras Mohaisen – Baha – Makkah Independent Water Transmission Pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

COP27 sub-events:

7-8 November (Monday-Tuesday): Terra Carta Action Forum organized by the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative.

UNFCCC’s capacity building hub.

7 November (Monday): Saudi Arabia’s Middle East Green Initiative event.

8 November ( Tuesday): COP27 Leaders’ Event: Accelerating Adaptation in Africa.

10 November (Thursday): ClimaTech Run competition’s pitching day.

11-12 November (Friday-Saturday): Saudi Green Initiative event.


13-15 December (Tuesday-Thursday): International Renewable Energy Congress, Hammamet, Tunisia.

15 December (Thursday): The UN’s 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), Montreal, Canada.


13 January (Friday): The International Renewable Energy Agency’s Youth Forum, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

14-21 January (Saturday-Saturday): Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week takes place in the UAE.

16-18 January (Monday-Wednesday): EcoWASTE, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), UAE.

16-18 January (Monday-Wednesday): World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), UAE.

January 2023: Bid submission deadline for green hydrogen projects to Hydrogen Oman (Hydrom).


6-8 February (Monday-Wednesday): Saudi International Marine Exhibition and Conference, Hilton Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The second edition of The Arab Green Summit (TAGS), Dubai, UAE.

MARCH 2023

15-19 March (Wednesday-Sunday): Qatar International Agricultural and Environmental Exhibition, Doha, Qatar.

JUNE 2023

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


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 World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


6-17 November (Monday-Friday): The UAE will host COP28.



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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