Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC – aka Masdar, which calls itself the UAE’s “clean energy powerhouse” – has signed an agreement with Bapco Energies, the integrated energy company “leading the energy transition in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” to jointly explore the development and investment in near-shore and offshore wind projects in Bahrain with a capacity of up to 2 GW.

The Kingdom of Bahrain aims to reduce emissions by 30% by 2035 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, as outlined in its National Energy Strategy.

Masdar has developed a number of landmark wind farms currently in operation around the world, including the 400 MW Dumat Al Jandal wind farm, the largest in the Middle East and the first in Saudi Arabia, the 630 MW London Array offshore wind project in the United Kingdom and the 103.5 MW UAE Wind Program, which “utilises innovative technology to capture low wind speeds at utility scale.”

Masdar is aiming for a renewable energy portfolio capacity of 100 GW by 2030, and also hopes to be a leading producer of green hydrogen on the same time scale.

Established in 2006, and jointly owned by TAQA, ADNOC, and Mubadala, Masdar has developed and invested in projects in over 40 countries with a combined capacity of over 20 GW, encompassing a range of renewable technologies (solar, geothermal, battery storage and green hydrogen, as well as wind, including floating wind).

Among recent significant initiatives, Masdar has joined forces with RWE to develop 3 GW of new offshore wind capacity in the UK, closing a transaction announced at COP28 in Dubai last December, with Masdar now holding a 49% stake in the UK Dogger Bank South (DBS) projects. RWE, with a 51% stake, will lead development, construction and operation throughout the life cycle of the projects. The joint investment with RWE amounts to some £11 billion. It builds on the £10 billion UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership (UK-UAE SIP) focused on investment in technology, infrastructure and the energy transition.

Masdar’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “The addition of the Dogger Bank South project demonstrates our commitment to developing Masdar’s offshore wind capacity and expertise as an important component in our pursuit of the target of 100 GW renewable energy portfolio capacity by 2030.”

Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE noted that the transaction was “of great importance for the further development of offshore wind in the UK, one of our core strategic markets.”

Located in relatively shallow waters in the North Sea over 100 km from the east coast of England, DBS consists of two offshore wind projects, DBS East and DBS West, each with an installed capacity of 1.5 GW and spanning 500 km2.

The next development milestone for the projects will be the submission of applications for Development Consent Orders (ie, planning permission), expected to be during the second quarter of 2024. If successful, the next steps would be to secure Contracts for Difference (CfD), followed by financing, construction and finally full commissioning by 2031.

Construction on the projects could start as early as the end of 2025, with the first 800 MW of capacity planned to come online in 2029.

Masdar and RWE have recently awarded geo-data specialist, Fugro, a contract to undertake geotechnical surveys on the Dogger Bank South West site.

Three vessels, Fugro Quest, Fugro Voyager and Normand Mermaid, will survey the ground conditions below seabed from May to October 2024 at the location of each proposed turbine and platform foundation, and associated seabed infrastructure.

Using a combination of surveying techniques, the ground investigation is “an essential step in determining the final design and engineering of the project.”

Following completion of the acquisition of the three Norfolk offshore wind projects from Vattenfall announced at the end of 2023, RWE is developing nine offshore wind projects in the UK and has ten in operation.

First turbine at Baltic Eagle

On 9 May 2024, Masdar reported successful installation of the first of fifty Vestas V174-9.5MW wind turbines at the 476 MW Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm, a joint venture with Iberdrola, with operation expected by the end of 2024.

Installation is being done by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s Blue Tern jack-up vessel (pictured, at the Hohe See offshore wind farm).

Baltic Eagle is the second offshore wind farm in Iberdrola Deutschland’s ‘Baltic Hub’, after Wikinger (350 MW, in operation). Located north-east of the island of Rügen off the coast of Pomerania, and installed and operated from the port of Mukran in Sassnitz, the Baltic Hub will also include Windanker (315 MW, in planning).