By John Lee.
Masdar, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company, has signed a strategic agreement to develop 2,000 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Iraq.
Heads of Agreement (HOA) were signed at a virtual ceremony by His Excellency Majid A. Hantosh, Minister of Electricity, the Republic of Iraq, Her Excellency Suha Al-Najar, President of the National Investment Commission (NIC) for the Republic of Iraq, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.
The signing took place in the presence of His Excellency Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail, Minister of Oil for the Republic of Iraq, His Excellency Suhail Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy for the UAE, and His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade for the UAE.
His Excellency Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail, Minister of Oil for the Republic of Iraq, said:
"The Government intends to increase and enhance the national production of clean energy. Through this agreement with Masdar, we will generate 2 GW of solar power through projects in central and southern Iraq.
"Iraq is targeting 20 to 25 percent of energy coming from renewable sources, rather than fossil fuels, equivalent to 10 to 12 GW. This agreement with Masdar, a global leader in renewable energy, is an important step in the development of the clean energy investment sector and the exploitation of solar energy in Iraq."
HE Suhail Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy for the UAE, said:
"We are grateful to the Government of Iraq for providing Masdar with the opportunity to contribute to the implementation of the Republic of Iraq's renewable energy strategy. The UAE is committed to working with the Republic of Iraq to develop sustainable energy resources. This initiative also highlights the importance of public and private sector partnerships in finding affordable solutions.
"Masdar has been a pioneer in developing clean energy projects, and is now active in more than 30 countries around the world, with a total value of more than US$20 billion and a production capacity exceeding 11 gigawatts. Masdar will leverage the expertise it has built up through these projects to support the Republic of Iraq on its clean energy journey."
HE Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, underlined the strong brotherly relations that unite the UAE and the Republic of Iraq, supported by many deep political, social and economic ties, and driven by the keenness of the leadership of the two brotherly countries to enhance prospects for cooperation in all fields, especially vital areas of common interest.
He pointed out that the cooperation between Masdar and the government of the Republic of Iraq will add significant value to the Emirati and Iraqi partnerships in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and keeping pace with the growing demand for energy. It will also contribute to supporting Iraqi efforts aimed at implementing quality projects to produce 10 gigawatts of solar energy by 2025.
HE Al Zeyoudi further affirmed the UAE's keenness to facilitate channels of technology transfer, enrich knowledge and encourage the exchange of the best and most successful experiences to promote economic development in Iraq.
HE Suha Al-Najar, President of the National Investment Commission for the Republic of Iraq, said:
"The project is one of the largest renewable photovoltaic solar projects in the Middle East, and falls within the vision of Iraq's sustainable transition plan 2021- 2030. The project delivers 2 GW of green energy for Iraq national network. It opens the way for cooperation and knowledge exchange between the two parties in the field of energy planning and sustainable transition. A steering committee of both parties is established for this goal. The business model is Independent Power Producer, and the investment will be according to law13-2006 of the National Investment Commission.
"The project ensures clean and sustainable energy production for different areas in Iraq, and displaces carbon dioxide emissions resulting from fossil fuel generation. The project will also provide new jobs in the energy sector, with the manpower for project construction and operation beyond 2,000."
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said:
"This agreement will define the path for the development of clean energy solutions that will drive growth in the Republic of Iraq and help the Government meet its climate goals. The UAE shares Iraq's commitment to diversify away from a dependence on oil & gas, and to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources. We are proud to support the Government of Iraq on this vital stage in its clean energy journey and we will leverage our expertise to deliver a more sustainable future for the nation."
(Sources: Masdar, Govt of Iraq)