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Thu 10 Dec 2015 05:14 PM

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RWE, Abu Dhabi's BBII enter energy cooperation

German utility agrees deal to develop projects in Middle East, North Africa and Turkey with Bin Butti Int'l Investment

RWE, Abu Dhabi's BBII enter energy cooperation
Power lines lead away from a coal-burning power plant in Germany

German energy utility RWE has agreed with Abu Dhabi-based investment firm BBII to develop wind and solar power projects in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, hoping to offset a prolonged industry crisis in Europe.

"We see the MENAT region as markets with good prospects for RWE," Chief Executive Peter Terium said in a statement, adding BBII (Bin Butti International Investment) is a "strong partner".

BBII is fully owned by Butti Bin Butti Al Qubaisi, member of the influential Qubaisi family in Abu Dhabi, which operates long-established and privately-owned businesses in different sectors.

No financial details were disclosed.

RWE has long seen the Middle East as a potential growth market, hoping the region's push into renewables can revive its fortunes after declining wholesale power prices and Germany's nuclear exit have effectively robbed it of its business model.

Terium told Reuters last week the Middle East and northern Africa region were suitable for solar projects of 50-250 megawatts, just days after announcing plans to split off its renewables business into a new listed entity.

The cooperation with BBII will mainly focus on solar and wind, also in partnership with third parties, RWE said, adding other areas of joint activity include energy efficiency, district cooling and combined use of power and heat for water desalination.

RWE already has a foothold in the Gulf after forming a joint venture with state-run utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) in 2012 to provide consulting services to investors, energy suppliers and governments.

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