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Cyril Widdershoven

Cyril Widdershoven

Dr. Cyril Widdershoven is a long-time observer of the global energy market. Presently he works as a Senior Researcher at Hill Tower Resource Advisors. Next…

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UAE’s ADNOC Eyes Expansion Of Downstream Activity In Europe

  • Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC has made a preliminary takeover proposal for German chemical group Covestro.
  • Any potential deal would likely involve keeping Covestro's operations separate from ADNOC.
  • Additionally, ADNOC plans to actively participate in carbon markets by generating and trading carbon credits through its commodity trading arm.

Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC has made a preliminary takeover proposal for German chemical group Covestro, a German chemical group, as part of its strategic plans to leverage market developments. While no official offer has been made yet, the proposal is estimated to be around €10 billion ($10.9 billion), valuing Covestro at nearly €11 billion.

ADNOC's interest in Covestro aligns with its goal to become more sustainable, although any potential deal would likely involve keeping Covestro's operations separate from ADNOC. 

Although a full deal is not imminent, ADNOC's broader strategy includes investing approximately $150 billion in expanding upstream activities, as well as developing and expanding low-carbon energy. 

The interest in Covestro follows ADNOC's acquisition of a 24.9% stake in Austrian energy and chemicals company OMV in 2022. ADNOC's investment reach extends beyond the UAE and MENA, as it seeks to grow its portfolio in the EU, U.S. and Asia. Its international upstream expansion ambitions became clear when the company took a stake In Israel’s NewMed Energy.

Additionally, ADNOC plans to actively participate in carbon markets by generating and trading carbon credits through its commodity trading arm, ADNOC Global Trading (AGT). The focus will initially be on generating credits from its own projects and other UAE-based projects in various sectors. ADNOC's long-term strategy revolves around green energy sources and a low-carbon economy, with a particular emphasis on downstream oil and gas products.

AGT's recently established carbon desk, led by Aleksi Parkkila, formerly of Trafigura, will spearhead ADNOC's carbon market endeavors. ADNOC's CEO, Sultan Al Jaber, who is also the leader of COP28 and oversees green energy producer MASDAR, has that the transitioning away from "fossil fuels," is inevitable, but mind you, this does not mean the end of hydrocarbon and fuel products production. 

By Cyril Widdershoven for Oilprice.com

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