Back to the complete issue
Thursday, 6 April 2023

TODAY: OIH approves investments in EVs + France’s TotalEnergies, Iraq finalize agreement on energy projects

Good morning, wonderful people, and happy Thursday. We’ve reached the halfway point in Ramadan and are looking forward to a restful week, but first…

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- Orascom Investment Holding’s board of directors approved investments in EVs and a trading platform to boost intra-Africa trading and logistics services in Egypt this week, and over in Iraq it appears France’s TotalEnergies and the Iraqi government have finally struck an agreement on the long-delayed USD 27 bn cluster of energy projects in the country. We have the details on these stories and more in the news well, below.

ALSO- We have more details on the financiers of Egypt’s 500 MW Gulf of Suez wind farm: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the UN’s Green Climate Fund will each extend credit lines totalling USD 50 mn to finance the 500 MW Gulf of Suez wind farm in Ras Ghareb, contributing a fifth of the USD 501 mn syndicated loans that will fund the project, the lender said in a statement yesterday. The credit lines extended to project developer Red Sea Wind Energy (RSWE) — a JV comprising Orascom Construction, Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation, and France’s Engie — are co-financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, the Norinchukin Bank, and Société Générale, who collectively will provide green loans adding up to USD 401 mn for the project, with JBIC contributing USD 240 mn alone. The wind farm — which achieved financial close earlier this week — is being developed under the energy pillar of the Egyptian government’s Nexus on Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) program, with the EBRD serving as the lead developing partner.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- It was relatively quiet on the global climate news front yesterday, but Zurich Ins. Group’s exit from the Net Zero Ins. Alliance got coverage from Reuters and Bloomberg. Zurich’s departure marks the second withdrawal from the subunit of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero after German insurer Munich RE announced it would quit the group over the weekend. The exits are drawing skepticism among industry leaders on the utility and efficiency of voluntary industry associations aiming to push down carbon output, the business news service notes.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Industry giants issue their own corporate carbon credits: A host of industry leaders — including British pharma giant GSK and energy titan Shell, Danish renewables developer Orsted, France’s TotalEnergies, and German automaker Volkswagen — are bankrolling nature-based carbon sinks to offset the emissions generated from their operations, issue carbon removal credits, and meet mid and long-term climate action targets, Bloomberg writes. TotalEnergies is earmarking some USD 100 mn annually for carbon mitigation projects in a bid to up its carbon offsetting capacity to 5 mn tons of CO2 equivalent per annum by 2030. Shell and Orsted are both funding nature-based carbon mitigation projects in various parts of the world, and VW plans to issue some 40 mn carbon credits by the end of the decade to help it reach its 2050 net-zero target.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- This could be a gamechanger: New silicon-based electrodes could help usher in a fresh line-up of longer driving and faster charging EV batteries by mid-decade, Reuters reports. The new silicon electrodes, which are considered an ideal substitute or supplement for graphite in battery anodes, are being developed by startups Group 14 Technologies and Sila Nanotechnologies. They both have plants opening up next year, and their automotive customers include Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. But even with the plants coming online in 2024, demand is set to exceed capacity, Group14’s CEO and co-founder Rick Luebbe said. The shift to silicon-rich anodes would still take time, with Sila Nano CEO and co-founder Gene Berdichevsky saying it would take more than 10 years for silicon to replace graphite in battery anodes.

WATCH THIS SPACE #3- ExxonMobil is quite optimistic about its energy transition plans: ExxonMobil’s low-carbon business could eventually outperform the leading US oil producer’s traditional fossil fuel production, CEO Darren Woods told investors, according to the Financial Times. The decarbonization business could be worth “hundreds of bns of USD” and emerge to be “larger than ExxonMobil’s base business is today as the world approaches net zero,” Woods said. Achieving this target depends on finding ways to reduce the costs of hydrogen fuel and carbon capture and on government incentives, he said. Woods’ statements come months after Exxon said it plans to pour some USD 17 bn in lower-emission initiatives by the end of 2027, which is equivalent to 10% of investments allocated for its fossil fuel projects over the same period.

WATCH THIS SPACE #4- Japan is spearheading calls to accelerate decarbonization ahead of the upcoming G7 meeting, Reuters reports. The two-day meeting will kick off on 15 April in Japan and will focus on climate, energy, and environment. The topic of energy security will be high on the meeting’s agenda, and a discussion on how to phase out natural gas within 10 to 15 years will be brought forward, as the country seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian gas imports, Japanese minister of economy, trade, and industry Yasutoshi Nishimura told Reuters. Nishimura visited Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Oman last year as part of a regional tour aimed at finding ways to diversify the country’s energy sources. The G7 group comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US.

YOU’RE READING ENTERPRISE CLIMATE, the essential regional publication for senior execs who care about the world’s most important industry. Enterprise Climate covers everything from finance and tech to regulation, products and policy across the Middle East and North Africa. In a nod to the growing geographical ambitions of companies in our corner of the world, we also include an overview of the big trends and data points in nearby countries, including Africa and southern Europe.

Enterprise Climate is published at 4am CLT / 5am Riyadh / 6am UAE Monday through Thursday by Enterprise, the folks who bring you Enterprise Egypt, your essential 6am and 3pm read on business, finance, policy and economy in Egypt and emerging markets.

EXPLORE MORE OF ENTERPRISE ON THE WEB — tap or click here to read EnterpriseAM, EnterprisePM, and The Weekend Edition on our powerful new website packed with reader-friendly features.

Subscribe to Enterprise Climate here or reach out to us on with comments, suggestions and story tips.



We are delighted to share with you that the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will be taking place on 15 May at the Four Seasons Hotel at Nile Plaza in Cairo.

DO YOU WANT TO ATTEND? If you’re a C-suite exec, exporter, investor, official, banker, or someone who should be part of the conversation, please click here to request a spot at this exclusive event. Attendance is by invitation only.

WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY ON STAGE? Drop a note to Patrick here and let’s talk.

WANT TO BECOME A COMMERCIAL PARTNER? Ping a note to Moustafa, our head of commercial, here.


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.

Turkey is hosting the International 100% Renewable Energy Conference from 4-6 May in Istanbul. The event will bring together experts to discuss the integration of renewables, renewable energy technologies and applications, and the Roadmap to 2050.

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.

Enterprise Climate is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; and Infinity Power (tax ID: 305-170-682), the leading generator and distributor of renewable energy in Africa and the Middle East. Enterprise Climate is delivered Mon-Thurs before 4 am UAE time. Were you forwarded this copy? Sign up for your own delivery at Contact us on