TAQA to explore investments worth $3bn in Uzbekistan’s energy sector

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TAQA, also known as Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, has partnered with Uzbekistan to explore opportunities for investment in the Central Asian country’s energy sector.=

The investment opportunities include new and existing power plants as well as associated power infrastructure with a combined value of more than $3bn (Dhs11bn). The new partnership is expected to cover the design, financing, engineering, procurement, commissioning, testing, ownership and operation of the power plant by the Abu Dhabi-based energy company.

The implementation agreement between TAQA and Uzbekistan covers proposals for a greenfield combined cycle power plant with a capacity of approximately 1.5 gigawatts (GW).

The new project will be adjacent to the existing Talimarjan power complex where TAQA has already announced plans to invest in the privatisation of two gas-fired power plants.

The agreements look at opportunities to invest in existing and further greenfield gas-fired power generation plants with a combined capacity of more than 3 GW along with electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure in Uzbekistan.

“In addition to helping modernise Uzbekistan’s network and generation sector capabilities, working closely with the country’s leading ministerial agencies will allow us to expand our international portfolio, strengthening our position as a global utility leader,” said Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s group CEO and managing director.

This strategic collaboration is another significant milestone in TAQA’s international growth strategy. These agreements open the door for TAQA to bring its operation and maintenance expertise to Uzbekistan in support of new and existing power generation projects.

The company will also support Uzbekistan’s process of reform for the energy sector. TAQA will bring in international best-practice infrastructure development and operation to help Uzbekistan achieve substantial improvements in transmission and distribution network performance, network asset modernization and collection services.

TAQA’s Q1 2023 financials

Meanwhile, TAQA’s first-quarter net profits reached $3.2bn, driven by robust returns from the company’s long-term contracted utility business and its acquisition of a 5 per cent stake in ADNOC Gas.

The Abu Dhabi-listed firm said its revenues jumped 6 per cent in the first three months of the year to Dhs13.14bn, bolstered by higher bulk supply tariffs and transmission charges.

Its free cash flow in Q1 2023 stood at Dhs4.3bn, up 31 per cent from the same period a year earlier, despite higher capital expenditure – which rose by 26 per cent year-on-year to Dhs1.1bn.

TAQA said it is setting up a green finance framework for the issuance of green bonds, Sukuks, loans and other debt instruments in April to contribute to the utility firm’s ESG targets and long-term net-zero goal.

The company said proceeds from the issuances will be used to finance eligible green projects including renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable water and wastewater management as well as clean transportation, terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity.

The utility firm’s green finance framework is aligned with the global best practice set out under the four core components of the Green Bond Principles 2021 that was published by the International Capital Market Association.

TAQA is also expanding into electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure following the formation of a mobility joint venture, E2Go, with ADNOC Distribution to build and operate charging stations in Abu Dhabi.

E2Go comes at an opportune time in the development of the UAE’s EV market, with an expected 70,000 charging points expected to be built in Abu Dhabi by 2030 to meet growing EV demand.

Read: UAE’s TAQA Group posts $3.2bn in Q1 net income