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UAE’s Masdar joins mega wind project off Britain

UAE's Masdar joins mega wind project off Britain/AFP

UAE’s Masdar joins mega wind project off Britain/AFP

ABOU DAHBI, September 24- Abu Dhabi energy company Masdar said Wednesday that it was joining a multi billion dollar offshore wind farm project in Britain in partnership with Norwegian firms Statoil and Statkraft.

The farm will produce clean power for about 410,000 homes in Britain, according to Masdar, which oversees UAE’s drive to boost renewable energy production in the oil rich sheikhdom.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2016, with full operations expected to begin in late 2017.

Masdar said it would take a 35 percent stake — worth $858 million — in the $2.5 billion project, which was first announced by the Norwegian firms in July.

“As the only OPEC nation supplying both traditional and renewable energy to international markets, the UAE is committed to accelerating the use of wind energy as an effective means of balancing the global energy mix,” said Masdar chairman Sultan Al Jaber.

Statoil will also hold a 35 percent stake while Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, will own the remainder, the statement said.

Statoil will also be the operator of the venture.

The UAE investment was signed on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Summit taking place in New York.

It is Masdar’s second major investment in the British offshore wind energy market.

The company already has a 20 percent stake in the 630 megawatt London Array project, the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

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Masdar is overseeing Abu Dhabi plans to generate seven percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest of the seven sheikhdoms that make up the federation of the United Arab Emirates.

It sits on proven oil reserves totalling 98.2 billion barrels — 95 percent of the UAE’s reserves, which are the world’s seventh largest. It also has a large wealth of gas.

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