UAE and Greece Sign Deals Worth 4 billion Euro

UAE and Greece Sign Deals Worth 4 billion Euro

Over the past decade, the European Union (EU) has demonstrated its keenness to diversify its energy sources, giving particular prominence to renewables as evidenced in the Green Deal, the EU’s multiannual action plan aiming to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, EU member states have also endeavoured to alleviate their dependency on gas and oil from Moscow, notably by diversifying their energy mix and the suppliers they are willing to collaborate with. 

The EU appears to regard the Gulf countries as important partners in helping member states to achieve these objectives. In March 2022, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, paid an official visit to the State of Kuwait with a view to advancing bilateral cooperation projects between the EU and the Gulf state while the German Vice-Chancellor travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to sign a number of new energy cooperation agreements with Abu Dhabi.

In addition, in the EU Commission’s just-published Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council, “A strategic partnership with the Gulf”, one of the key actions proposed is a partnership for a green transition and sustainable energy security.

The UAE has also demonstrated its willingness to increase its interest in European economies through targeted investments, particularly in the energy sector. Last week, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek Prime Minister paid an official visit to the Emirati capital where he met with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. During the visit, both partners signed joint investment agreements worth 4 billion euro. The visit was also an occasion for the two leaders to discuss other important matters, such as possible avenues to increase and diversify bilateral cooperation as well as geopolitical issues, including the current war in Ukraine. 

"The renewal of the successful collaboration between the Hellenic Development Bank and Mubadala Investment Company and the creation of a joint initiative for investments worth 4 billion euros is of pivotal importance," the Prime Minister said in a statement from his cabinet. 

The nine agreements signed between Athens and Abu Dhabi will see increased cooperation in the sectors of energy, technology and health, among others. The UAE's efforts to ramp up its investments in European economies also coincides with Israel’s search for potential routes to export liquified natural gas (LNG) extracted from the Leviathan field to Europe. 

“Due to its geographical position, Greece has the potential to become a gate for natural gas from the Middle East to Europe. We would like to explore the possibilities for further strategic cooperation and the participation of funds from the UAE in this direction,” the Prime Minister added.

Greece, like other EU member states, is endeavouring to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the global effort to combat climate change. In particular, Athens has pledged to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix from 23% to 35% by 2030. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), an Emirati company, and Motor Oil Hellas Corinth Refineries, a Greek company, are expected to collaborate on a joint project to import LNG to Athens while another agreement signed between the Greek company and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) will see the two partners join forces in the development of renewable energy projects, notably through the construction of offshore wind farms. These wind farms are expected to enable Athens to generate no fewer than 2 gigawatts of electricity by 2030.

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