Development France’s Engie sees UAE investments grow to $12bn By Pramod Kumar May 25, 2023 AWCA Engie’s UAE strategy focuses on projects including water desalination plants French energy company Engie has invested $12 billion (AED44 billion) in energy, water desalination and green hydrogen projects in the UAE. The investments are across several strategic projects, Frederic Claux, managing director flexible generation and retail, Africa Middle East Asia at Engie, told the UAE state-run WAM news agency. The projects include Al Ajban solar PV, water desalination projects, battery storage and green hydrogen production, as well as the development and operation of the Mirfa 2 reverse osmosis independent water project and the running of six power and water plants in the country. Claux stated that the UAE is one of its key markets in the Middle East and a hub for business growth, noting that the company will primarily focus on providing renewable energy solutions for water desalination, battery storage and green hydrogen projects. Engie’s strategy in the UAE currently focuses on district cooling projects, photovoltaic energy, water desalination plants and battery storage projects. The company will continue growing these sectors, as they have significant potential for growth, he added. The French firm seeks to expand through renewable energy ventures by participating in various solar energy projects under the Emirates Water and Electricity Company. Currently, it is involved in developing $1 billion Al Ajban solar PV, which produces 1.5 GW of energy. Claux said that Engie has recently won a tender to develop and operate $800 million Mirfa 2 project, which has a daily water production capacity of 20 million gallons. The company expects to finalise the project’s financial closure in the coming weeks and commence its construction, with operations scheduled to start in 2026, Claux said. The French energy company owns a stake of around 40 percent in the National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed). Currently, Engie operates six power and water plants in the UAE with total capacities ranging from 1 to 1.5 GW, depending on location. With the addition of Mirfa 2 project, the company’s total investments in this sector in the UAE will reach $7 billion, Claux said.