China continues to expand portfolio of green finance and clean energy projects in MENA, according to research

Author: Ossman Elnaggar, The Diplomat, Published on: 23 September 2019

“China’s Growing “Green” Engagement in MENA”, 19 Sep 2019

In recent research conducted by the Paulson Institute, it is clear that China is playing an increasing role in the expansion of “green” finance throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)… China is becoming a driving force in the region’s transition to green development, especially in clean energy.

It is no surprise that a number of MENA countries have aligned their sustainable development strategies with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in order to leverage the expertise of Chinese firms as well as financing to promote green economic growth…

Through targeted and strategic investments, China has been able to take a stake in many of the major renewable energy projects in the region…

One early investment by the Silk Road Fund, a government established fund to promote development along the Belt and Road, is the fund’s acquisition of a 49 percent stake in ACWA Renewable Energy Holding, the renewable energy arm of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power. The deal makes the fund a major shareholder in a portfolio of clean energy projects that adds up to a sizable 1668MW of generation capacity and provided access to projects across the MENA region.

… ACWA Power and the Silk Road teamed up… with Harbin Electric… to act as the project developer for the 2400MW Hassyan Clean Coal Power Plant in Dubai… It is the first clean coal power plant in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

… Harbin Electric also acted as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor along with General Electric. Financing for the project was provided by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and the Silk Road Fund…

China’s portfolio of clean energy projects in the region continues to expand. ACWA Power has a stake in some significant projects like the Noor Solar Power Station in Morocco, the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Complex in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the world’s largest renewable energy project based on an independent power producer model…

More recently, in April 2019, Shanghai Electric Generation Group signed an EPC agreement for the DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) 700MW concentrated solar project (CSP)…

… As MENA governments… make diversification of their energy mix a core part of their economic growth strategy, China’s financing, design, procurement, construction, commissioning, hand over, and development services will continue to be in high demand… [Also referred to Dongfang Electric]

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Related companies: ACWA Power Agricultural Bank of China Bank of China China Construction Bank Dongfang Electric General Electric Harbin Electric (formerly Harbin Power Equipment) Shanghai Electric