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AwardsMiddle East's Best Bank Awards

Regional: Best International Bank 2021

Standard Chartered

Awards are never won or lost based on a single investment deal, or by putting too much weight on one good, or disastrous, trade in the market. But Standard Chartered’s role in financing the United Arab Emirates’transition to renewable energy comes close.

As microcosms go, the Noor Energy 1 project for a 950-megawatt hybrid concentrated solar power station speaks volumes about prime minister Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s ambitions to diversify the economy. Though revenues from petroleum and natural gas still dominate, the UAE government is redoubling its efforts to develop new growth engines and reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

The Noor Energy 1 loan, of about $4.32 billion, is a limited recourse project financing in Dubai and the largest regional investment into the renewable sector for a single project. It’s a great leap forward toward achieving the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which seeks to reduce Dubai's fossil-fuel energy consumption by 30% by 2030.

With its coveted role as lead manager of the project, Standard Chartered is uniquely positioned to get pieces of what’s sure to be ever bigger and pricier projects.