04 Dec


Electricity generation capacity in the Middle East is expected to rise by 50 percent by 2030, driving huge investments in new energy infrastructure. The scale of these investments is estimated to be in the order of tens of billions of US dollars per year, distributed over a variety of energy sources. The share of fossil fuel for power generation, however, is expected to decline, giving way to investments in renewables and nuclear energy.

This workshop aims to offer a better understanding of current and emerging financing models of energy projects in the region and highlights the challenges that investors and governments face, particularly when considering renewables and nuclear power projects. The workshop also aims to strengthen the links between academics, investors, experts and policy makers as well as to contribute to AUB’s expanding energy programs and research.

 Regional outlook and country perspectives: Countries across the Middle East are gradually shifting away from using fossil fuel in an attempt to promote their energy security and reduce the opportunity cost of burning oil and gas to generate power. An overview of demand projections and national policies would be needed for setting the stage to discuss the scale of investments required over the coming decades and the influences that may shape the future energy mix.

• Country and technology-based challenges: The challenges that face governments and investors in the region when considering energy projects differ from one country to another. Economic standing, geopolitics and technological and human resource capacity are all factors that define the underlying challenges. From a technology perspective, nuclear power and renewables are capital-intensive sources of energy and each has its own set of challenges.

• Models of project financing: There are many elements that dictate the type of financing models adopted in the region. The variability of these elements and the risk involved lead sometimes to the creation of new models that are tailored to the specific needs of countries and investors. What are the current and emerging models of project financing and what are their respective pros and cons?

• Risk management and influences: The allocation of risk depends on how the proposed energy projects will be financed and operated. Prices of oil and natural gas, nuclear safety records, government support and stability, and the rate of decline in the costs of renewable technologies are all important factors that would shape decision-making for both governments and investors.

Workshop Coordinators:

– Dr. Ali Ahmad (aahmad@princeton.edu)
– Dr. Nesreen Ghaddar (farah@aub.edu.lb)

Workshop Structure:

• Welcoming remarks (9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.)
₋ Dr. Makram Suidan, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at A.U.B
₋ Dr. Fadlo Khoury, President of the American University of Beirut.
₋ Trustee Munib Masri, Chairman of Engineering and Development Group (Edgo)
₋ Ms. Roula Majdalani, Director of Sustainable Development and Productivity Division, U.N – ESCWA
₋ HE Minister Arthur Nazarian, Minister of Energy and Water in Lebanon (TBC)

• Panel 1: Regional Outlook and Country Perspectives (9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.)
Moderator: Dr. Nesreen Ghaddar, Qatar Chair of Energy Studies, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at AUB, Director of the Masri Institute
– ESCWA Representative: Regional Outlook
– Mr. Ashish Khanna, Lead Energy Specialist, World Bank
– Mr. Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development Office, Dubai Energy & Water Authority
– Mr. Rakan Ayoub, Financial Advisor at Atomic Energy Commission, Jordan
– Mr. Şafak Herdem , Managing Partner, Herdem Attorneys At Law, Turkey

• Panel 2: Technologies, Trends and Financing Models (11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
Moderator: Dr. Ali Ahmad, Research Scientist at Princeton University
– Dr. Nadira Baraktullah, Senior Economist, U.A.E
– ESCWA Representative: Renewable Energy
– Dr. Mounir Rached, World Bank Advisor, Lebanon

• Panel 3: Investors and Markets (2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Moderator: Dr. Simon Neimeh, Professor of Economics, American University of Beirut
– Dr. Mansoor Durani, Financing Renewable Energy Projects, National Commercial Bank (NCB), K.S.A
– Eng. Sherif Magdy El Gabaly, CEO, Enara for Energy and Industrial Investment, Egypt
– Dr. Dimitry Konukhov, Center for Energy and Security Studies, Russia
– Mr. Tarek Zebian, Director of Communication and Research at the Capital Markets Authority, Lebanon

Conclusion and Closing Remarks by Dr. Ali Ahmad (4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.)

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