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Giant 100MW Shams solar thermal plant comes online in Abu Dhabi

Giant 100MW Shams solar thermal plant comes online in Abu Dhabi

http://www.globalfundexchange.com/blog/2013/03/18/giant-100mw-shams-solar-thermal-plant-comes-online-in-abu-dhabi/

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Abu Dhabi’s Masdar project has officially inaugurated the world’s largest solar thermal power project, after yesterday bringing online the 100MW Shams 1 concentrated solar power (CSP) plant.
The $600m project, which was developed in partnership with oil giant Total and Spanish energy developer and solar specialist Abengoa, is now expected to displace approximately 175,000 tonnes of CO2 a year and act as a forerunner for further CSP projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The inauguration of Shams 1 is a major breakthrough for renewable energy in the Middle East,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chief executive of Masdar in a statement. “Just like the rest of the word, the region is faced with meeting its rising demand for energy, while also working to reduce its carbon footprint. Shams 1 is a significant milestone, as large-scale renewable energy is proving it can deliver electricity that is sustainable, affordable and secure.”

The facility, which covers an area equivalent to 285 football fields in western Abu Dhabi, makes use of parabolic trough technology, featuring more than 258,000 mirrors mounted on 768 tracking solar collectors. The troughs concentrate the heat onto oil oil-filled pipes, which are then used to produce steam that drives a turbine to generate electricity.

Masdar said the project also features a dry-cooling system that significantly reduces water consumption, described as “a critical advantage in the arid desert of western Abu Dhabi”.
“This is a major step in the process of transforming the capabilities of solar power in the region,” said Christophe de Margerie, chairman and CEO of Total, in a statement. “We share Abu Dhabi’s vision that renewables have a promising future alongside fossil energies… As such, we are pleased to accompany the Emirate in the diversification of its energy mix.”

The official opening of the new project represents the latest in a series of milestones for the high profile Masdar project, which has committed to establishing Abu Dhabi as a major global renewable energy hub and investor, featuring the world’s first zero carbon city, new renewables-powered desalination infrastructure, and stakes in large scale renewable energy projects around the world.

by Anric

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Coming agri boom garners investor attention

Coming agri boom garners investor attention

http://www.globalfundexchange.com/blog/2013/01/31/coming-agri-boom-garners-investor-attention/

Calculating the amount of land planted with agri produce, 2012 should have seen the biggest harvests ever in the US, the world’s largest grain exporter. But it did not exactly happen like that. The country’s corn-belt was hit by the worst droughts since the 1930s and the impact on global food markets was exacerbated by dry weather in Russia and Brazil.

This is set to lead to a period of “agflation”, with food prices due to hit new record highs in 2013, according to Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research unit.

The current bout of price rises is mainly affecting commodities that are largely used in animal feed such as corn and soybeans, as opposed to the last bout of food inflation in 2008, when the price of staple foods such as wheat, maize and rice doubled, hitting the world’s poor hardest.

Agricultural companies however are priced significantly below their long term averages as equity investors have not yet adjusted to this new normal.

“Demand for agricultural commodities is expected to outweigh supply as these key macro trends continue,” says a report from the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment*.

As well as pension funds, the sector is attracting insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds, no doubt aided by the increasing press coverage, educational efforts by funds like the Food and Water funds from Global Fund Exchange and a number of investor conferences on the subject.

On February 26th and 27th, Anric Blatt, portfolio manager of the Food and Water focused AquaTerra fund will be speaking at the Global Ag Conference in Abu Dhabi. Click here to read more about the conference, download the program and register.

Global AgInvesting Middle East (February 25-27, 2013) offers a comprehensive overview of agriculture investment opportunities, risks, and return profiles across all major global production regions, as well as strategies for diversified ag portfolios including regional variation, private equity, liquid investments, water, and protein plays. Produced by HighQuest Partners, GAI Middle East will highlight strategies for ensuring food security, including outsourcing and technological advances. Panel discussions will provide attendees with a picture of the agriculture investing landscape and a clear idea of where the real money is moving in the space.

GAI Middle East is produced in conjunction with the Food Security Center of Abu Dhabi

by Anric

 

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First oil flows through UAE's Hormuz bypass

The United Arab Emirates should be able to export nearly half of its crude without using the Strait of Hormuz مَضيق هُرمُز for the first time from early July, with a new pipeline expected to pump 1m barrels to the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, three industry sources said.

The strategic bypass pipeline allows the UAE to pump oil from fields in the west of the country to its eastern port of Fujairah, ending the OPEC producer’s total dependence on a narrow shipping route out of the Gulf which Iran has threatened to block as western sanctions on its oil exports tighten.

The new pipeline has a nameplate capacity of around 1.5m bpd, compared to total UAE exports of around 2.4m bpd, but sources say it can carry over 2m bpd.

“From 0930 today oil has been received at the main oil terminal in Fujairah and 1m barrels is coming in,” a source directly involved in the project said on Thursday.

“The plan is to load the first oil tanker around July 1… We will slowly increase it to 1.5m bpd,” the source said.

Two other industry sources linked to the project, including one from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), confirmed that oil started flowing into the terminal on Thursday and that they expected it to be loaded onto the first tanker around the first week of July.

A European Union ban on Iranian crude imports is also due to come into effect on July 1. Iranian threats to block Hormuz, which the UAE has until now depended on to ship all its oil exports and Kuwait still relies on, intensified at the start of the year as EU lawmakers prepared the ban.

Hormuz had a daily oil flow of almost 17m barrels in 2011, up from 15.5m to16m bpd in 2009-2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Flows through the Strait in 2011 were about 35 percent of all seaborne traded oil, or almost 20 percent of oil traded worldwide.

The 370km Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline links the Habshan oilfields to Fujairah and ADNOC has built eight tanks with capacity of 1m barrels each nearby.

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Masdar has $5billion in solar, wind power projects

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned renewable energy company, is working on a portfolio of renewable power generation projects worth about $5bn, according to Frank Wouters, the director of Masdar Power.

In Spain, the company has three solar projects worth about $1bn, Wouters said at a media briefing in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. A 20-megawatt plant will start producing power this month and two 50-megawatt facilities will start this year, he said.

Masdar also has stakes in the 1-gigawatt London Array offshore windfarm and a 6-megawatt offshore wind project in the Seychelles.

Abu Dhabi, which holds almost all the oil reserves in the UAE, is investing in solar and wind power all over the world to pioneer the use of renewable energy. The emirate is building Masdar City, a business and residential complex designed to minimize carbon emissions, and serves as headquarters for the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Masdar is a key component of Abu Dhabi’s aim to generate at least 7 percent of the power it uses from renewable sources by 2020. Growth in power demand to more than 20,000 megawatts by the end of the decade would require about 1,500 megawatts from projects such as wind and solar plants, according to data from Abu Dhabi’s utility.

Overview of Masdar City

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Green energy consumption up 5.3% in MENA region in 2010

 

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Abu Dhabi to build world's largest underground reservoir

Abu Dhabi, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – In the Persian Gulf region, only water can be more precious than oil, and Arab leaders are taking steps to protect their supply from possible sabotage by al-Qaeda militants or attacks by another potential foe.

Abu Dhabi, in particular, is taking no chances.

In October, the wealthiest emirate of the United Arab Emirates federation launched a pilot for the world’s largest underground reservoir, with 26 million cubic meters of desalinated water. Officials say they aim to protect it from oil spills or plant breakdowns, but others cite security fears.

Diminishing natural groundwater is a fundamental threat to Gulf Arab states. Abu Dhabi and its fellow emirates would have only four days of water if desalination plants were damaged.

“A desalination plant is a large factory sitting on the coast, something that you could easily blow up with a bomb or a missile. You could bring the country to its knees,” said Hady Amr of the Brookings Doha Center.

Abu Dhabi’s massive aquifer project is buried beneath the scorching sands of the Empty Quarter, a desert stretching from the UAE to Saudi Arabia. The completed reservoir will store 90 days of rationed water for its citizens.

Now, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman are interested in making aquifers, too, the project’s developers and analysts said.

“Iran and Iraq have rivers. We [other Gulf states] don’t. So in the future, they have the upper hand,” said Sami al-Faraj of the Kuwait Centre for Strategic Studies.

The UAE risks depleting groundwater within 50 years at current consumption rates. Desalination capacity, which Abu Dhabi has quadrupled in the last 10 years, is at risk from natural disasters and oil spills in the Strait of Hormuz, where 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passes.

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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Water

 

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