Government and DONG team up with Abu Dhabi on sustainability

Emirates funding environmentally-friendly infrastructure with oil money

As the World Future Energy Summit kicks off today in Abu Dhabi, Denmark is strengthening its ties with the United Arab Emirates. 

This morning, DONG Energy signed an agreement with the Abu Dhabi government-owned investment company Masdar, and the development minister, Rasmus Helveg Petersen (R), is expected to sign a formal energy co-operation agreement with the UAE tomorrow.

The Middle East and Africa face major challenges in the area of waste management, according to Thomas Dalsgaard, an executive vice president for DONG. In the UAE alone, dumping sites take up 1,800 hectares of land and the volume of waste continues to increase dramatically.

"We see some interesting perspectives in the MEA [Middle East and Africa] region which faces great challenges when it comes to handling increasing waste volumes, so we're pleased that Masdar wants to co-operate with us to examine the business potentials in the area," Dalsgaard said in a DONG press release.

READ MORE: Wind energy produced half of Danish electricity in December

Two-phase agreement
The co-operation between DONG and Masdar will involve two phases: adaptation of technology to the local and regional conditions, and the establishment of a commercial platform to promote the technology in the region. 
The first phase is due to be completed within 18 months.

Meanwhile, Petersen is on his way to Abu Dhabi to sign an energy co-operation agreement with UAE, which has been turning towards adapting green-energy concepts in a bid to become less dependant on oil.

READ MORE: Copenhagen named European green capital

One man's rubbish is another man's treasure
The agreement will allow the two nations to exchange technological and political ideas about sustainability and will see a Danish hub for companies focussing on energy solutions established in Masdar City.

”The Emirates are one of the world's most wealthy and energy-consuming nations which has profited heavily on oil,” Petersen said in a ministry press release. “Therefore, it is important that they now, as the first in the region, admit that energy consumption must be reduced and made greener.”

Industry lobby group Dansk Industri (DI) is also participating in the World Future Energy Summit and sees massive opportunity for Danish companies not just in Abu Dhabi, but in the Middle East in general.

“The Middle Eastern nations are on the cusp of making great investments into energy infrastructure that is environmentally responsible but financed by oil money,” Thomas Bustrup, the head of DI, told Berlingske newspaper. “That makes it very interesting for Danish business.”

The 2014 World Future Energy Summit will last until Wednesday. Representatives from 170 countries are expected to participate.

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