Sharjah’s expanding energy mix and the role earmarked for private sector players in driving the sector forward were among the issues explored by Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, in an interview he gave recently to the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group.
Jafar told Oxford Business Group that several of the emirates were looking to the private sector to provide both infrastructure for harnessing untapped sources of power and solutions to help make energy generation and distribution more efficient.
“Although Sharjah and the northern emirates have previously relied on the government for investment and supply, there is an increasing realisation that both further diversification of supplies and different models of generation will be required to meet growing demand, especially from the private sector,” he said.
Jafar added that with challenges relating to the storage, efficiency and reliability of renewables still to be addressed, the UAE’s long-term strategy for broadening its energy mix envisaged a complementary combination of hydrocarbons and clean sources.
“Oil and natural gas will continue to be an important part of the domestic energy mix, with the latter playing a particularly important role in electricity generation,” he told Oxford Business Group.
With oil prices now showing signs of improvement, supported by unprecedented levels of cooperation between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC markets on output levels, Jafar noted, conditions for investors were becoming increasingly attractive.
“Private sector companies can expand their role in the energy sector by providing the investment and technology necessary to tap the new reserves that continue to be essential in the maintenance and growth of current production levels,” he said.
The interview with Jafar will form part of the research for The Report: Sharjah 2018, Oxford Business Group’s forthcoming publication on the emirate’s economy.
The Report: Sharjah 2018 will provide a comprehensive guide to the many facets of the emirate’s economic environment analysed against a UAE-wide backdrop. The publication will contain a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors, alongside contributions from leading stakeholders. The report will be available in print and online.