“Israeli” Energy Firms Plan Mideast Push, Including Saudi Arabia & Oman
Story Code : 1009454
“The venture will exploit what we see as a very large opportunity in the region that began with natural gas, a development led to a large extent by NewMed,” Enlight Chief Executive Officer Gilad Yavetz told journalists in a conference call. The companies aim to combine NewMed’s ties in the region with Enlight’s green-energy expertise.
He added that the venture will aim for a market that includes Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman as well as Jordan and Egypt, where NewMed – formerly known as Delek Drilling LP – is already an energy provider.
Over the past decades, the “Israeli” entity has used its technical know-how to forge and strengthen diplomatic relations, starting with drip irrigation technology to African nations. Last year, a natural gas deal between NewMed and the UAE’s Mubadala deepened ties between the countries. Renewable energy may be the next to open doors, particularly in the Middle East.
“For many years, for many of these countries, oil was the key to success, a strong economy and a future. But now they are seeing that maybe isn’t going to be the future and are looking at ‘Israel’, which has been very strong without having natural resources for most of its existence,” said Yonatan Freeman, international relations expert at Hebrew University in al-Quds [Jerusalem].
Enlight and NewMed intend to use a local partner to help with any projects they take on. NewMed still needs to bring the agreement to its shareholders, while Enlight does not.
“Together we can be very competitive with the largest players in this space in the world,” said Gilad. “The MENA countries see the importance of renewables.”