Global wind capacity to rise by more than half in next five years

Global wind capacity to rise by more than half in next five years
Above, the Dan Tysk wind park of Swedish energy company Vattenfall and Stadtwerke Munich located west of the German island of Sylt in the North Sea. (Reuters)
Updated 25 April 2018

Global wind capacity to rise by more than half in next five years

Global wind capacity to rise by more than half in next five years
  • Around 52.5 gigawatts of new wind power capacity was added worldwide last year, down slightly from 54.6 GW in 2016
  • China continues to be the biggest wind market in the world, adding nearly 19.7 GW of new capacity in 2017

LONDON: Global wind energy capacity could increase by more than half over the next five years, as costs continue to fall and the market returns to growth at the end of this decade, a report by the Global Wind Energy Council shows.
In its annual report on the status of the global wind industry, the GWEC said cumulative wind energy capacity stood at 539 gigawatts (GW) at the end of last year, 11 percent higher than the previous year.
That should increase by 56 percent to 840 GW by the end of 2022 as countries develop more renewable energy to meet emissions cut targets and prices continue to fall, the wind industry association said.
Around 52.5 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power capacity was added worldwide last year, down slightly from 54.6 GW in 2016. The GWEC expects the market to be flat this year but start growing again from 2019.
“The annual market will return to growth in 2019 and 2020, breaching the 60 GW barrier once again and continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace, in the beginning of the new decade,” the GWEC said in its report.
“We expect to see total cumulative installations reach 840 GW by the end of 2022,” it added.
Wind power has become more competitive over the past few years, with a move from government subsidies to auctions which has brought costs down further.
“Overall, offshore prices for projects to be completed in the next five years or so are half of what they were for the last five years and this trend is likely to continue,” the report said.
China continues to be the biggest wind market in the world, adding nearly 19.7 GW of new capacity in 2017, though this was 15.9 percent lower than the previous year.
The pace of China’s wind development is gradually slowing down and growth is expected to be flat to 2020.
India experienced record wind installations last year, adding over 4 GW, but GWEC expects this to slow this year due to a transition period between old market incentives and moving toward an auction-based system, the GWEC said.
The EU also had a record year in 2017 with 15.6 GW added. The bloc is expected to install around 76 GW of new wind power by the end of 2022, reaching a cumulative total of 254 GW.
The US added 7 GW of new wind capacity last year. Despite attempts to change the structure of tax credits last year, the provisions remained intact and continue to support the industry.


Abu Dhabi-owned GlobalFoundries may bring forward IPO as it pours $1.4bn into fab expansion

Abu Dhabi-owned GlobalFoundries may bring forward IPO as it pours $1.4bn into fab expansion
Updated 40 min 59 sec ago

Abu Dhabi-owned GlobalFoundries may bring forward IPO as it pours $1.4bn into fab expansion

Abu Dhabi-owned GlobalFoundries may bring forward IPO as it pours $1.4bn into fab expansion
  • Global semiconductor shortage boosts demand for chips
  • Shortage has hit automaker output worldwide
WASHINGTON: Abu Dhabi’s GlobalFoundries will invest $1.4 billion this year to raise output at three factories in the United States, Singapore and Germany, as a global shortage of semiconductors has boosted demand for chips, its chief executive said.
The US-based company, a unit of Abu Dhabi’s state-owned fund Mubadala, may also bring forward its initial public offering to late 2021 or the first half of next year, from a previous target of late 2022 or early 2023.
It is aiming for revenue growth of 9 percent to 10 percent from just over $5.7 billion last year.
Automakers and electronics producers are facing a global shortage of chips which has fueled manufacturing delays.
“The adoption of technology that would normally have taken a decade happened in one year in 2020 because of COVID-19,” GlobalFoundries CEO Thomas Caulfield told Reuters.
Before the pandemic, the chip industry was projected to grow 5 percent over a five-year horizon and now it has accelerated to grow at twice that rate, he said.
While the supply crunch has resulted in car makers such as Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors cutting output, an increase in supply would create further demand.
GlobalFoundries said the $1.4 billion, which will be divided evenly among its fabs in Dresden, Germany, Malta, New York and Singapore, will begin to ramp up output through 2022 to produce chips from 12 to 90 nanometers.
About a third of the investment will come from clients seeking to lock in supply over several years, Caulfield said, forecasting a 20% rise in production next year following an expected 13 percent increase in 2021.
If demand continues to rise GlobalFoundries could build a new plant adjacent to its Malta, New York, plant after securing a purchase option agreement for about 66 acres of undeveloped land last year.
But a decision to break ground there would hinge on the US Congress funding a set of measures to incentivise chip manufacturing in the US known as the Chips Act, which was approved last year.
“It’s not a question of ‘if,’ it’s just a question of ‘when,’... And a key element of going forward will be the funding of the Chips Act,” Caulfield said.
US President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has pledged to support the effort, and senators are looking at providing emergency funding for the law as part of a bigger package to counter China’s rise, as chipmaking has shifted to Asia.
GlobalFoundries is the world’s third-largest foundry by revenue behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Samsung Electronics but ranks second when factoring out the part of Samsung’s foundry business that makes chips for other elements of the South Korean firm.

Oman has fastest port operations in the world, UN body says

Oman has fastest port operations in the world, UN body says
Updated 03 March 2021

Oman has fastest port operations in the world, UN body says

Oman has fastest port operations in the world, UN body says
  • The Sultanate earlier announced the National Logistics Strategy 2040 in a bid to become a global logistics hub

DUBAI: Oman’s ports have been recognized by the UN’s trade and development arm as first in the world in terms of speed of container handling.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), container vessels only stay in the Sultanate’s ports for an average of 12.5 hours – including all entry, exit, loading, and unloading operations.

The Sultanate earlier announced the National Logistics Strategy 2040 in a bid to become a global logistics hub.

The plan involves adding new maritime routes and more international partnerships to ease the movement of goods.

Oman joined Poland and Gulf neighbor UAE at the top of UNCTAD’s list.


Dubai firm acquires Paris towers in $300m deal

Dubai firm acquires Paris towers in $300m deal
Updated 03 March 2021

Dubai firm acquires Paris towers in $300m deal

Dubai firm acquires Paris towers in $300m deal
  • The acquisition of Altais Towers in the east of the French capital is GII’s first purchase in the city and the firm’s largest real estate deal to date

DUBAI: Gulf Islamic Investments (GII), a Dubai-based Shariah-compliant financial services firm, has bought a commercial tower block in Paris, in a deal valued at around $300 million.

The acquisition of Altais Towers in the east of the French capital is GII’s first purchase in the city and the firm’s largest real estate deal to date, bringing the value of its total investments in Europe to around $800 million.

Mohammed Al-Hassan, founding partner and co-CEO of GII, said: “Altais Towers is an exciting marker in GII’s growth trajectory, as we head toward achieving a total AUM (assets under management) of $3 billion by the end of 2021.

“This acquisition highlights our deep and diversified global experience as we expand into new geographies and execute transactions of this scale and complexity, especially amidst the challenges presented by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Altais Towers is located in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil and comprises two towers with 28 and 16 floors, respectively.

Founded in 2014, GII has nearly $2 billion of assets under management and is currently looking at other projects in Europe, namely in the UK and Germany.


Alhokair and Arabian Centres boost online footprint with Vogacloset deal

Alhokair and Arabian Centres boost online footprint with Vogacloset deal
Updated 03 March 2021

Alhokair and Arabian Centres boost online footprint with Vogacloset deal

Alhokair and Arabian Centres boost online footprint with Vogacloset deal
  • The pandemic has encouraged Saudi retail groups to rapidly ramp up their e-commerce investments in response to the boom in online shopping

DUBAI: Saudi retail giants Alhokair and Arabian Centres Company (ACC) agreed to acquire a combined majority stake in Vogacloset, a UK-based online fashion platform.
It sells some 400 brands across women’s, men’s and kids’ fashion.
Post-transaction, Alhokair and ACC will own a combined 51 percent stake in Vogacloset, they said in a statement.
 “This strategic investment in a sizeable and profitable regional e-commerce player is the most direct route for Alhokair to extend its leadership position in its core Saudi market – from offline to the online space, while safeguarding our competitive market position,” said Marwan Moukarzel, CEO of Alhokair.
The pandemic has encouraged Saudi retail groups to rapidly ramp up their e-commerce investments in response to the boom in online shopping.
Alhokair trades in around 1,800 stores across 100 shopping malls in 13 countries. Meanwhile Arabian Centres operates 21 malls across the Kingdom

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Oman said to agree $2.2bn loan with large group of banks

Oman said to agree $2.2bn loan with large group of banks
Updated 03 March 2021

Oman said to agree $2.2bn loan with large group of banks

Oman said to agree $2.2bn loan with large group of banks
DUBAI: Oman has raised $2.2 billion with a loan in a deal which attracted interest from a large group of regional and international lenders, sources said.
The Gulf state, rated sub-investment grade by all major credit rating agencies, had been working with a group of banks to raise a $1.1 billion loan, which could have gone up to $2 billion depending on market appetite, sources told Reuters in January.
The deal was eventually completed at $2.2 billion last week, the sources said. Oman’s ministry of finance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Oman expects a 2021 budget deficit of 2.24 billion Omani rials ($5.82 billion). To make up the shortfall, the government aims to raise about 1.6 billion rials through borrowing and draw 600 million rials from its reserves.
It was the first Gulf government to tap the international bond markets this year, raising $3.25 billion in three-part bonds in January, taking advantage of positive market conditions to replenish state coffers battered by the coronavirus crisis.
The new loan has a 15-month maturity with the possibility to extend it by an additional 12 months at the borrower’s discretion, the sources said.
It attracted interest from more than a dozen international and regional lenders, which offered around $3 billion for the deal, one of the sources said.
Oman’s external debt maturing this and next year amounts to $10.7 billion, or about 7.5% of gross domestic product, S&P Global Ratings has said.