We have covered key developments in PPP and infrastructure across major GCC countires in our final insight of Q4-2023. Major economies in the middle east have ambitious plans for infrastructure development and have shown keen interest to use PPPs as an emerging modality for such projects. This has atrracted international investors who have committed to take part in this infrastructure growth, including through MoUs and bilateral negotiations.
Read the key developments in Infrastructure and PPPs in key GCC countries in our final insight of the Q4 2023 series.
OMAN ISSUES INFRASTRUCTURE WORKS TENDER FOR MUSCAT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FREE ZONE
Oman’s integrated logistics company has invited bids for the construction of infrastructure for Phase 1 of the Free Zone at Muscat International Airport. It is the first of the 3 free zones to be set up under a Royal Decree issued in 2022; the other two will come up at Sohar Airport and Salalah Airport.
The free zone is located on the eastern side (1.7 Mn square metre (sqm)) of the Muscat International Airport. The project is to be developed in three phases. The first phase is spread over 0.37 Mn sqm and will include land preparation, building infrastructure, superstructures and ancillary services. The scope of work for Phase 1 will include the construction of a 0.9-kilometre dual carriageway, 4.45 km of single carriageway access roads to the Free Zone, 3.4 km chain link security fence, street lighting, substations and earthworks.
OMAN PLANS FOR COMMON INFRASTRUCTURE FOR GREEN HYDROGEN LIQUEFACTION AND EXPORT
The Sultanate of Oman's Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Hydrogen Oman (Hydrom) have signed a Joint Study Agreement (JSA) with Port of Amsterdam, Zenith Energy Terminals and GasLog, to collaborate on the development of a liquid hydrogen route to market for green hydrogen produced in the Sultanate of Oman. The Agreement entails conducting a detailed assessment of the requirements to develop an open-access hydrogen liquefaction, storage and export facility in the Sultanate of Oman, along with the provision of specialized vessels for the transportation of the liquid hydrogen, currently under development by GasLog.
The primary aim of the Agreement is to establish a green hydrogen corridor between the Sultanate of Oman and the Netherlands, with the terminal of Zenith Energy as the destination for the import, regasification and further distribution of Oman-produced hydrogen to both local offtakers within the port of Amsterdam, as well as large industries in the European hinterland. The open-access liquefaction facility will also enable the government of the Sultanate of Oman to explore cost effective hydrogen export corridors to other global markets.
OMAN IDENTIFIES VAST LAND AREAS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT
Sizeable land areas with considerable renewable energy potential have been identified in northern Oman, as revealed during the recent ‘Forum on Sustainable and Low Carbon Aviation Fuel’ hosted by Oman’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). These lands, spanning about 7,830 square kilometers in several governorates, complement the 50,000 square kilometers designated for green hydrogen development in central and southern Oman over the next three decades.
Oman’s commitment to transitioning its energy sector towards renewables and decarbonization was emphasized, aligning with the nation’s goal of reaching Net Zero emissions by 2050. To support the production of low-emission energy fuels, such as green hydrogen, the country has designated vast areas of land, including Al Jazer, Salalah, and Duqm. These areas are earmarked for green hydrogen development, managed by Hydrogen Oman (Hydrom). Oman plans to increase renewables-based electricity generation by 2030, with various solar and wind projects in the pipeline.
MASDAR EYES 163 MW UAE RENEWABLES PORTFOLIO
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is planning to develop a 163 MW portfolio of renewable projects in the UAE. Emerge, a joint venture between Masdar and France's EDF Group, is planning to construct its maiden solar project in the city of Sharjah.
The 60 MWp plant, likely to be operational by the end of 2024, will be built under a 25-year build, own, operate and transfer model at the Sajaa Gas Complex owned by the Sharjah National Oil Corporation, the oil and gas industry executive arm of the Petroleum Council of Sharjah.
Masdar is also developing a 103.5 MW portfolio of four onshore wind projects. The largest of the projects, on Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, will be 45 MW and be located next to a 14 MWp solar farm. Masdar is also planning two 27 MW projects on Delma Island and in the region of Al Sila; and finally a 4.5 MW project in Al Halah in the emirate of Fujairah. Masdar aims to reach at least 100 GW of total renewable energy capacity by 2030.
UAE SETS UP COMPANY FOR EV CHARGING STATIONS
The UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure will establish an electric vehicle charging stations company. The company will oversee development of infrastructure to charge electric vehicles, the day-to-day operations of charging stations and develop a pricing strategy for charging services. The UAE in year 2023 approved a national policy on electric vehicles to build a national network of electric vehicle chargers that supports the needs of owners of electric vehicles and regulates its market in the UAE. The policy will contribute in reducing energy consumption in the transport sector by 20 per cent.
In May 2023, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure launched a goal to support the shift to green mobility and aims to increase the share of EVs to 50 per cent of total vehicles on the UAE’s roads by 2050.
KEZAD ANNOUNCES USD 90 MN INVESTMENT IN ABU DHABI FOOD AND AUTO HUB
Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD), the largest operator of integrated and purpose-built economic zones in the UAE, announced a USD 90 Mn (AED 330 Mn) infrastructure investment to develop a food and auto hub in Abu Dhabi. These investments are part of AD Ports Group’s over USD 4 Bn (AED 15 Bn) organic capex Programme planned between 2023 and 2027.
KEZAD Al Ma’mourah Area B1 will cater to a diverse range of industries and communities, encompassing several elements, including logistics hub, media hub and light manufacturing. The new development will also feature commercial centres and a hotel, attractions businesses looking to capitalize on the strategic location and integrated business ecosystem in KEZAD.
Hy24, MASDAR AGREE USD 2.18 BN GREEN HYDROGEN PARTNERSHIP
Ardian’s Hy24 and the UAE's Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) have signed a EUR 2 Bn (USD 2.18 Bn) agreement to develop green hydrogen projects across the world. The Hy24-managed Clean Hydrogen Infrastructure Fund and Masdar have joined forces to develop large-scale green hydrogen projects across Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The partnership, agreed during the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, will invest in up to EUR 2 Bn (USD 2.18 Bn) of projects along the power-to-x value chain, including green hydrogen, green ammonia, e-methanol, sustainable aviation fuel and liquid hydrogen, over the next 5 years. The deal opens up new investment opportunities in MENA for Hy24, a joint venture between French asset manager Ardian and clean hydrogen investment platform FiveT Hydrogen.
HYUNDAI AND MUBADALA PARTNER FOR HYDROGEN AND EV INFRA
Hyundai Motor Company will collaborate with Mubadala Investment Company on green energy and transport projects. The South Korean conglomerate and the sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to cooperate in areas including hydrogen, green aluminium, green transport and to strengthen Hyundai Motor Company's digital finance capabilities.
The partners aim to produce hydrogen from organic waste, with an intent to use this to manufacture steel. They plan to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the Iberian Peninsula, create a hydrogen ecosystem and supply the fuel to power commercial vehicles. They will jointly develop renewable synthetic fuel and explore the possibility of supplying to the aviation industry. They will also produce and recycle aluminium using clean power sources. Mubadala was established by Abu Dhabi in 2002 and is expanding into eco-friendly and high-tech investments. The fund has USD 276 Bn assets under management.
UAE TO BUILD ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION FACTORY IN ABU DHABI
The UAE has signed an agreement with Shahin, a company being set up in Abu Dhabi by GCC-based NEV Enterprise, to develop, maintain and operate an electric vehicle charging station factory in the country to cater to the growing demand for EV infrastructure. Shahin aims to meet 40 per cent of the UAE’s “direct current” charging demand by 2030 as the Arab world’s second-largest economy aims to become net zero by 2050. The factory will develop EV charging infrastructure through pre-negotiated offtake contracts. Demand for EVs in the UAE has continued to rise and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 30 per cent between 2022 and 2028.
UAE LAUNCHES NATIONAL HYDROGEN STRATEGY
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made a resounding commitment to a sustainable and decarbonized future with the official launch of its National Hydrogen Strategy. The heart of the UAE’s Hydrogen Strategy is a series of impressive production targets. By 2031, the UAE aims to establish local production capacity of 1.4 Mn tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of low-carbon hydrogen, with a goal of 7.5 Mtpa by 2040 and a staggering 15 Mtpa by 2050. This rapid scaling of hydrogen production underlines the UAE’s commitment to playing a pivotal role in the global transition to a hydrogen-based economy.
One of the key elements of the UAE’s vision is to create ‘hydrogen oases’ within its borders. These oases are intended to serve as hubs for hydrogen production, fostering innovation and economic growth. The UAE plans to establish two such oases within eight years and expand to five by 2050.
SK PLANS UAE GREEN HYDROGEN PUSH
SK Eco plant, the clean energy arm of SK Group, is teaming up with a state-owned South Korean energy company to develop a green hydrogen company. The company signed an agreement with Korea South-East Power Company to launch a green hydrogen project in a free economic zone in UAE. The goal is to produce 50,000 tonnes of green hydrogen and 250,000 tonnes of green ammonia annually from solar power. The move is taken as Middle East countries including UAE and Oman have expressed an interest in developing green hydrogen and green ammonia projects to propel the green energy transition.
Under the agreement, SK Eco plant will lead the project development. Korea South-East Power will evaluate plans to import green hydrogen and green ammonia into South Korea as an off-taker and use them for co-fired power generation plants. The two companies will first conduct a preliminary feasibility study to work out the exact capacity of the plant. The project will be in an industrial complex of an Abu Dhabi free economic zone. SK has already signed an agreement with a local company that operates port facilities and terminals in the industrial zone. The existing port facilities in the industrial park will help with the transport and distribution of the green hydrogen and ammonia.
BAHRAIN INVITES BIDS FOR 15.5 MW SOLAR ROOFTOP AND CARPORT PROJECT
Bahrain’s Ministry of Electricity and Water Affairs (MEWA), on behalf of the Ministry of Interiors (MOI), has invited proposals for developing and operating a combined solar plus Electric Vehicle (EV) charging project on MOI premises. The MEWA tender invites bidders to participate in ‘Request for Proposal (RFP) to Build, Own, Operate and Maintain (BOOM) a minimum capacity of 15.5 MWac (Megawatt AC) grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant on building rooftops and car parks with EV charging stations. The duration of the BOOM contract is 20 years.
It also underlined that the Fixed Tariff rate quoted by the bidder shall not exceed 21 fils per kWh. The RFP documents are available for purchase up to 30 January 2024. The closing date is 31 March 2024, and tender opening date is 1 April 2024. The primary bidder of an individual company or a consortium must be a local or GCC company and registered in Bahrain or the GCC countries. International companies can only participate through consortiums. Additionally, bidders must have successfully commissioned at least 10 MWac grid-tied solar PV project or solar PV car park projects or solar PV rooftop projects in the last 5 years.
MUMTALAKAT, MASDAR TO DEVELOP GREEN ENERGY PROJECTS IN BAHRAIN
Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of the kingdom and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) have announced the signing of a MoU on the sidelines of COP28 mainly aimed at exploring collaboration opportunities in the development of clean and renewable energy projects in the kingdom.
As per the deal, Mumtalakat and Masdar will collaborate to develop a pipeline of renewable energy projects, supply cost competitive green energy to Bahrain, build local capabilities and foster innovation in Bahrain by utilising their complementary expertise and know-how. In addition, they will explore co-investment opportunities in other markets of common interest.
KUWAIT LAUNCHES 1.1 GW SOLAR PPP
Kuwait has launched a PPP tender for the development of the 1.1 GW Al-Dabdaba and Al-Shaqaya PV project. The Ministry of Electricity, Water, and Renewable Energy has announced that the DBFOM project will be based in the Jahra Governorate, located 100 km west of Kuwait City. Power generated from the new facility will be exported to the national grid and sold under a 30-year offtake agreement to the Ministry. The Ministry is overseeing the PPP procurement in collaboration with the Kuwait Authority for PPP Projects (KAPP). The KAPP has specified that project developers must hold at least a 15% stake in the submitted projects. Project is to be completed within 7 years from the conclusion of the tender.
KUWAIT LAUNCHES USD 350 MN FIBRE NETWORK PPP
Kuwait has launched a USD 350 Mn (EUR 331 Mn) PPP for the rollout of a nationwide fibre broadband network. The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) and the Ministry of Communication (MoC) have requested interested bidders to submit their RFQs for the 50-year DBFOM project. The rollout, which will have a capex from USD 250 Mn to USD 350 Mn, will involve the upgrade of Kuwait's broadband network so that it can support internet speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The network will also be expanded to areas that are not yet covered, with the aim of reaching 90% coverage nationwide within 5 years.
The project company will be registered as a joint stock company owned up to 44% by the winning consortium, with the government taking the rest. The leading company in the bidding consortium will take a 35% stake with the other members owning at least a 15% stake each.
List of Key Transactions - Kuwait- Q4 2023
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