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Wednesday, 13 September 2023

TODAY: More cooperation between Acwa Power and China coming + Masdar plans to double renewables capacity by year end

Good morning, wonderful people. We’re capping the week with another relatively slow day on the climate news front as we slip into the weekend.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- Egypt is planning to set up an integrated industrial complex worth USD 1 bn with an unnamed global firm to produce flat steel for use in EVs and renewable energy components.

^^ We have more on this story and others in the news well, below.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- EU launching probe over China’s “artificially low” EV pricing: The EU is launching an investigation into Chinese subsidies for EVs in efforts to ward off a flood of cheap imports. “Their [China’s] price is kept artificially low by huge state subsidies which is distorting our market,” head of the EU’s executive arm Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday in her annual speech to the European Parliament. Von der Leyen said that the bloc will fight back against China’s domination of the global car market through aggressive underpricing. Tensions between China and the EU have been simmering for months, with the bloc’s industrial core at risk of losing its share to faster Chinese companies. The investigation marks the first attempt to slow down competing state support for green technologies, after more than a year of ever larger subsidies in the US, China, the UK and Europe.

What could happen next? Depending on the results, it could move the trading partners toward “more aggressive, tit-for-tat protectionist measures,” Bloomberg explains, which would hit the bloc’s carmakers hard. Potential tariffs from the probe could have a far bigger impact than any previous anti-subsidy actions against Chinese imports given the market’s fast-paced growth.

If China continues in the same trajectory, it can control 15% of the EU market by 2025: The share of Chinese brands of EVs in the bloc was 8% last year, according to an EU official who spoke to Bloomberg. With Chinese models about 20% cheaper than domestic offerings, the expectation is that they will control 15% by 2025, the official said.

The EU probe is getting coverage from the international press: Reuters | Bloomberg | The Financial Times | The Associated Press | CNN | The New York Times | The Wall Street Journal

WE HAVE JUST FOUR DAYS TO GO until we see some of you at the Enterprise Finance Forum, which takes place 18-19 September (Monday and Tuesday) at the St. Regis Hotel on the Nile Corniche. This flagship forum is the latest in our must-attend series of invitation-only events, where CEOs, bankers, investors, founders, and corporate leaders will meet to discuss the trends shaping the future of banking, finance, NBFIs, and fintech — and of their clients.

What to expect: Join Karim Awad (CEO, EFG Holding), Hassan Allam (CEO, Hassan Allam Holding), Pakinam Kafafi (CEO, Taqa Arabia), Hazem Moussa (chairman, Contact Financial Holding), Tamer El Emary (group CEO, GB Capital), Hoda Kassem (Cairo global services center director, HSBC Egypt) and many others for talks on everything from investing in uncertain times, to whether NBFIs are a bubble. Stay tuned for the unveiling of our full list of speakers in the coming days.

Tap or click here to view the FULL AGENDA with SPEAKERS.

There will be plenty of parking available at the venue for all those attending.

** We are honored to count some of the region’s most important financial institutions as

our partners for this special event. The Enterprise Finance Forum could not take place without the support of our partners including Banque Misr, Al Baraka Bank, FABMISR, HSBC, Mashreq, Banque du Caire, CI Capital, Global Corp, Visa, Hassan Allam Utilities, the IFC, and Post for Investment.


OVER IN COPLAND- The second Global Dialogue in preparation for COP28 will take place in Abu Dhabi next month: In a closed session on the sidelines of the World Investment Forum, the second COP28 preparatory Global Dialogue will take place over two days with a focus on climate finance and investment, according to the forum website. The second Global Dialogue will aim to identify the “challenges, barriers and roadblocks in accelerating the just energy transition; develop actionable solutions and innovations for policies, institutional arrangements, finance and technologies; and explore avenues to direct finance flows towards the implementation of mitigation projects on the ground,” according to the event description. The dialogue will be held in partnership with the COP28 Presidency, the UNFCCC, the International Renewables Energy Agency (Irena), and the Abu Dhabi Global Market, and will incorporate finance related events from the World Investment Forum. The overall outcome of deliberations will feed directly into COP28 negotiations.

REMEMBER- The first global dialogue was held in Bonn earlier this year, where the agenda for the meetings failed to be agreed on, and the head of the UN’s Climate Body Simon Stiell expressed dissatisfaction with the outcomes at the time.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- More cooperation between KSA’s Acwa and China is happening: Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power has signed strategic MoUs with two state-owned Chinese firms in a bid to strengthen collaboration in green hydrogen, ammonia, renewable energies and integrated smart energies, according to a statement. The agreements were signed with China Southern Power Grid International Company and MingYang Smart Energy Group, according to the statement, without providing further details on the projects per the cooperation with Acwa Power.

An impressive portfolio with the Chinese: Acwa Power has implemented several projects with leading Chinese firms, including installing Central Asia’s largest wind turbine with China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC) and the awarding of a EPC contract for Rabigh 4 desalination project with a consortium of Power China, SEPCOIII and WETICO among collaborations.

IN OTHER KSA NEWSThe kingdom continues to ramp up its mining sector: Saudi Arabia aims to increase private sector investments in mining to SAR 171 bn (c. USD 46 bn) by 2030, Saudi daily business newspaper Al Eqtisadiah reports, citing statements by the country’s Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry. The kingdom is also aiming to increase investments to over SAR 120 bn by the end of the decade in several metal industries, including iron, aluminum, and chemical materials needed to manufacture electric vehicles.

REMEMBER- The Saudis are going big with energy transition metals: Saudi Arabia aims to become a global hub for green metals critical for the energy transition under efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. This includes tapping significant amounts of uranium and titanium discovered in the country, according to officials. KSA says it has untapped metals and minerals — including copper, zinc, phosphate, and gold — collectively worth USD 1.3 tn. KSA’s Manara — a recently established JV between Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and state-owned mining company Ma’aden — sealed an agreement in late July with Brazilian miner Vale to grab a 10% slice of its base metals unit.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Masdar on track to double capacity by the end of year: The UAE’s renewables giant Masdar aims to boost its global renewables capacity to 40 GW by the end of the year, CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said in an interview with Al Arabiya. Masdar’s capacity target for this year includes facilities that are operating, under construction, or are soon to begin construction, Al Ramahi said, adding that those in the early planning stage are not included in this target. Masdar aims to achieve this through a series of acquisitions that it has already kicked off, purchasing wind and geothermal businesses and projects in Europe, Africa, and Asia worth around USD 6 bn and adding an estimated 3.4 GW to its portfolio since the beginning of the year. The combined capacity for the company’s global portfolio is estimated at 20 GW across 40 countries.

REMEMBER- Masdar is planning to grow its global portfolio to at least 100 GW by 2030. It is also eyeing green hydrogen production of 1 mn tons per annum by 2030. The 2030 target of 100 GW is based on the gross capacity of projects in which Masdar will have stakes by that time, Al Ramahi told Al Arabiya.

WATCH THIS SPACE #3- The world is getting its first CO2 border tax next month: The European Union will kickstart the first phase of the world’s first carbon border next month, requiring importers to report the emissions emitted from products sold into Europe or risk fines, Reuters reports. Starting October, the CO2 levy’s initial phase will require firms importing steel, cement, aluminum, electricity, fertilizers and hydrogen into the EU to report CO2 emissions emitted during the production of such goods. If they fail to report such emissions, companies will be in risk of fines of up to EUR 50 per ton of CO2. A full CO2 equal to what European firms pay in Europe’s carbon market will be paid by importers once the levy enters full force from 2026, according to the business newswire.

Who will take the biggest hit: Turkey, Ukraine, China and Russia are expected to have their exports volumes hit the most by the CO2 levy, while industries in Europe, Ukraine and Britain will see minor impact during the first phase. Greater repercussions are expected when the full CO2 tax is applied in 2026.

IN OTHER EU NEWS- The European Parliament approved setting binding targets for European aviation to boost its use of sustainable aviation fuels to decarbonize the industry, Reuters reports. It aims to increase the use of SAF by ensuring fuel suppliers have 2% of the fuel accessible at EU airports as SAF in 2025, rising to 6% in 2030, 20% in 2035, and 70% in 2050. Some 1.2% of fuels must also be synthetic fuels starting 2030, rising to 35% in 2050. The targets should now get the greenlight from EU countries before it is adopted, according to the newswire.

WATCH THIS SPACE #4- Apple Watch going green: Three of the new Apple Watch models will have entirely fiber-based packaging as the company ditches leather in a bid to become carbon neutral by the end of the decade, according to a statement. Each carbon neutral Apple Watch will meet the criteria of 100% clean electricity for manufacturing and product use, 30% recycling or renewable material by weight and 50% of shipping with the use of air transportation. The change in criteria will result in a 75% cut in product emissions for each model.

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.

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Morocco will host the World Power-to-X Summit from Tuesday 19 September to Thursday 21 September in Marrakech. The event brings together policymakers, industry leaders, and innovators in green hydrogen to showcase success stories in the carbon-free industry. It will also explore scaling-up projects throughout the Power-to-X value chain and hold discussions on harmonizing roadmaps of contiguous countries and adjacent regions.

Saudi Arabia will host the MENA Climate Week from Sunday, 8 October to Thursday, 12 October in Riyadh. The four-day summit will discuss climate solutions ahead of COP28. It aims to provide a platform for policymakers, businesses, and others to exchange climate solutions as well as discuss obstacles and avenues in different regions. It considers four major systems-based tracks: energy systems and industry, cities, urban and rural settlements, infrastructure and transport, land, ocean, food and water, societies, health, livelihoods, and economies. You can register here.

The UAE will host the UNCTAD World Investment Forum from Monday, 16 October to Friday, 20 October in Abu Dhabi. This year’s theme focuses on sustainable investments, with a diverse range of climate financing sessions on promoting investments in the blue economy, agrifood systems, sustainable infrastructure, carbon markets, the circular economy, strategic minerals for decarbonization, and sustainable tourism. Some sessions will tackle reform of financial institutions needed to reach net zero, such as a session on integrating nature-related risk into capital markets and financing an equitable nature economy. Public sector investments and stock exchange action on climate disclosures will also be discussed.

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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