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Saeed Hamad Al Dhaheri

UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Energy & Mining

The right kind of collaboration

CEO, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, PJSC (TAQA)


Saeed Hamad Al Dhaheri joined TAQA in 2014 and later became CEO. He was previously executive vice-president of business support overseeing TAQA’s human resources, health and safety, information technology, procurement, and general services departments. Prior to joining TAQA, he held leadership positions at Abu Dhabi Media Company, Etihad Rail, and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA). He is also previously served on United Printing & Publishing’s board of directors. He holds a master’s in management from Abu Dhabi University and a bachelor’s in international business from Eckerd College in the US.

In addition to making a huge impact on the domestic sector, TAQA has recently completed large and successful projects in Morocco, Ghana, Iraq, and the Netherlands.

Would you provide an overview of TAQA and how it has formulated its investment strategy in both the domestic and international markets?
TAQA was established in 2005, and today we operate and invest in 11 countries covering power generation, water desalination, oil and gas exploration and production, pipelines, and gas storage. Our focus has always been to optimize operations while maintaining strict standards for health and safety. We aim to achieve long-term sustainable growth and continue to maximize our existing asset base. In the power and water sectors, we are amongst the best-performing companies wherever we operate; in the UAE, our assets’ availability and performance places us in the top quartile of the industry. TAQA has played a role in several milestone power projects in Africa, expanding the Jorf Lasfar coal-fired power generation plant in Morocco to have a total plant capacity of 2,056MW, in addition to a 330MW combined cycle power plant in Ghana. Similarly, in the hydrocarbon sector, we have developed a significant project in Iraqi Kurdistan and the second-largest gas storage facility in the Netherlands.

What synergies have you created between TAQA’s global investments, and how can that knowledge transfer generate benefits for Abu Dhabi and the UAE?
TAQA has a successful record of infusing its strengths across various global business units. For example, we established TAQA Europe to create synergies between our operations in the UK and the Netherlands. We have adopted the same strategy in Africa, where we created TAQA Africa, which oversees our businesses in Morocco and Ghana. Collaboration between operations is essential to the company’s continued success. We also have special forums where our staff from different business units, such as health and safety, get together to share experience and knowledge about the latest industry trends. In addition, we have monthly “Train Your Brain” workshops that include a department presenting something new to employees while explaining their individual roles. It helps build bridges among our staff while also highlighting the important role that every person plays at TAQA. As a multinational and operator across global markets, we are well-positioned to leverage the capabilities and expertise we gain in-country as well as abroad.

What is the strategic importance of TAQA’s water and electricity assets in Abu Dhabi?
The UAE represents the majority of assets under our portfolio. Out of the 17,400MW that TAQA generates globally, more than 70% are produced in the UAE. Notably, our eight power plants in Abu Dhabi represent approximately 90% of Abu Dhabi’s total power supply. We began in the UAE and continue to support the country and region.

How do you tackle the integrity and life-cycle issues across your assets?
TAQA is a global late-life asset operator with expertise in safely and efficiently managing these types of assets. In the North Sea, we have implemented numerous initiatives and have successfully extended the life of our assets by many years. Our core priorities at TAQA include the safety and wellbeing of our employees, portfolio optimization, and executing cost-effective decommissioning. We have been carrying out initiatives related to well plug and abandonment since 2017, which is the first step in the decommissioning process. That process will continue at a controlled pace in accordance with detailed plans.

What are some of the most interesting and innovative technologies you are implementing in your day-to-day business?
Like many of our peers, we are always scanning the horizon for technologies that will make our operations more efficient. This includes implementing the latest decommissioning technologies as well as using clean and alternative energies. Solar and wind energy as well as battery storage will be key areas for the future of the utilities sector, both internationally and in the UAE.



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