FLOURISHING FIELDS OF GREEN AND BROWN

Qatar 2020 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

Never content to rest upon its laurels, Nebras has acquired huge stakes in leading firms in Oman, Jordan, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Netherlands in recent years.

Khalid Jolo
BIOGRAPHY

Khalid Jolo has more than 20 years of experience in the power and utilities sector. Having recently headed QEWC's business development team, he was responsible for leading critical development projects in and outside Qatar including Ras Abu Fontas-B1, Ras Abu Fontas-B2, Ras Abu Fontas-A1 in Qatar, Sur IPP in Oman, and the acquisition of an equity stake in IPP4 in Jordan. He is the chairman of the board of Phoenix Power Company in Oman and Shams Ma'an Power Generation in Jordan. He is also a member of the board of directors in Ras Girtas Power Company (Qatar), Ras Laffan Power Company (Qatar), and Siraj Energy. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Qatar University.

Can you give an overview of the company's energy mix?
We seek to diversify according to two angles: geography and technology. Our assets today and those in our target markets are spread such that we can cover different geographies and technologies. Today, we are in Oman with other partners, working on a 2,000MW project that is the single biggest one of its kind in Oman. When that was commissioned, it represented over 30% of the grid. We are in four projects in Jordan, including Amman East, which is 370MW; Shams Maán, which is 52.5MW; and IPP4, which is 241MW. We are also constructing AM Solar and are trying to acquire the shares of AES. We signed the sale and purchase agreement and are in the process of obtaining the approval necessary for closing. Once this is done, we will own 16-17% of the grid in Jordan. In Indonesia, we are a shareholder of Paiton Energy, a 2,045-MW power plant that was our first investment in Southeast Asia, an extremely important market for us. We also have our ZEN investment in the Netherlands, which is a company we control and own 75% of. Currently, it has over 96MW. In April, we signed a SPA for four projects in Brazil for a total of 490MW. We will own an 80% controlling stake and hope to start construction of the first project by August 2020. Everything will be photovoltaic and bi-facial panels.

What is the aim of the company?
We have a target to reach 10GW in net capacity of the company's portfolio by 2026, of which at least 30% will come from renewables. We are looking for diversification in geography and are considering new markets such as Latin America. We are currently in Brazil but are in the process of evaluating different assets in that region. We are also seriously considering Australia and hope to announce at least one deal there shortly. We look for both greenfield and brownfield investments. Within our portfolio, we target both, as each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

What main technologies are you using to obtain energy?
Our main focus today is CCGT technology, which are gas-fired power plants. In terms of fossil fuels, gas is the cleanest energy. In addition, Qatar is the biggest exporter of LNG worldwide, and we have great relations with Qatargas and Qatar Petroleum. One model we are trying to adopt is the gas-to-power solutions, which we are working on now with our partners to adopt in different areas of the world. This is where we provide the full solution. We focus on all technologies such as solar, wind, and geothermal, except for nuclear. We are also stopping our investment in coal.

What role does Nebras Power play in helping the country transition toward a diversified economy?
The company is majority owned by the government, and thus one of the pillars of the future economy of Qatar, diversification, will be through Nebras investing in international markets. Through that investment, being involved in different projects and geographies, and our expected growth and target of 10GW, we will be a sizable company and add value to the economy away from exporting oil and gas. We also participate in bringing technology to Qatar and having the know-how and investment in the international market. More importantly, part of our success is due to our 22% Qatarization, as we seek to develop Qataris in different sectors within the company.