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Abu Dhabi and Chinese companies partner on green energy initiative

By ANGUS McNEICE in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-01-26 09:47
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A partnership between Chinese and United Arab Emirates energy companies and the launch of a new green business initiative fronted by Britain's Prince Charles were among the highlights of this year's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which ran all last week.

Virtual delegations of business leaders and ministers representing 175 nations participated in the annual renewable energy trade fair, which was held online this year because of the pandemic.

During the event, major civil engineering company China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company, or CGGC, signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar to explore future partnerships on green power projects around the globe.

The UAE has invested heavily in renewable power in recent years, which Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed says is necessary preparation for the day the "last barrel of oil" is shipped abroad from the fossil-fuel dependent region.

State-financed Masdar is at the core of this strategy, and the latest agreement with CGGC plays into the company's long-held ambition to break into the Chinese market.

"CGGC is one of the world's leading international engineering companies, and is active in many sectors that Masdar is interested in, including renewable energy and urban communities, both of which are key to sustainable development," said Masdar chief executive Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi. "We look forward to seeing if there are global potential areas of collaboration and concrete projects that could be mutually beneficial for our companies to engage in."

CGGC chairman Lyu Zexiang says he hopes to establish Masdar as a "key partner" in the establishment of "clean, sustainable landmark projects, contributing to global green development".

During the trade fair, Prince Charles promoted the recently launched Terra Carta, a new business charter aimed at providing environmentally-focused recovery strategies for businesses impacted by the pandemic.

"Reflecting on all that we have endured together, it is clearer than ever that human health and planetary health are fundamentally interconnected," he said. "We must entice regional and global cooperation around green and renewable energy production. The energy transition is a global one and we must all move together. For smaller states, economies of scale can only be achieved through regional cooperation."

He described the Terra Carta as "the basis of a recovery plan; one that will harness the innovation and resources of the private sector".

Another notable deal from the trade fair involved an agreement between Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa Group, and Siemens Energy to support the development of the green hydrogen economy in Abu Dhabi. The initiative will build a demonstrator hydrogen plant at Masdar City, which is a low-carbon urban development based in the sheikdom.

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