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Sun 18 Jan 2009 10:05 PM

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Abu Dhabi confirms green energy city

Project leaders say they are to go ahead with $22 billion scheme to build Masdar City despite global crisis.

Abu Dhabi will press ahead with a $22 billion project to build a green energy city taking advantage of the fallout of the global crisis, a top executive at the firm implementing the project said on Sunday.The world's first carbon-neutral, zero-waste Masdar City, due to be completed by 2016, is seeking to benefit from cost reductions, a lack of business opportunities elsewhere and strong government support, the executive said.

"Because of the global crisis, there are no opportunities or fewer ones for green companies in other parts of the world and Masdar City is becoming attractive as it is one of the few markets not impacted," said Khaled Awad, director of property development, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.

"We will not scale back on our spending because there have been major cost reductions in one year and our project cost is also going down," he said, adding that raw material and other development costs are falling steadily.

Awad said strong support from the Abu Dhabi government and its funding have guaranteed cash flows to the property development side.

"According to initial indicators, we do not see any real issues for funding," he said, adding the company has just appointed BNP Paribas as financial advisor.The project will create 50,000 jobs in Masdar City.

"On the macro side, Masdar city will add 2 percent to Abu Dhabi's GDP and it will also add to revenues on the financial side," he said without being more specific. (Reuters)

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