ADIPEC 2023: Energy transition — a relay, not a sprint

Ashraf A. Al Ghazzawi, executive vice president of Strategy & Corporate Development, underscores Aramco’s multifaceted approach to delivering a sustainable energy mix for the future.

ADIPEC 2023: Energy transition — a relay, not a sprint

Aramco will continue its drive to provide a sustainable and reliable energy mix to the world, while investing heavily in new technologies and a range of initiatives and solutions to help meet climate challenges, a senior company executive has told the ADIPEC 2023 conference in Abu Dhabi.


Executive vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development, Ashraf A. Al Ghazzawi, addressed Aramco’s position during a featured conversation with moderator Eithne Treanor on the opening day of the conference.


“The energy transition is often characterized as a race. I would argue that a race is a competition between individuals and that this is a team relay, where we are all working together to pass the baton while covering a very long distance. It will take time, and our success depends upon close collaboration,” said Al Ghazzawi.


Under the patronage of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the ADIPEC 2023 conference and exhibition was held under the theme of “Decarbonizing. Faster. Together.”

Thought leaders

It gathered together thought leaders in the global energy industry to explore how to advance decarbonizing today’s energy landscape, and to collaborate on meeting the energy challenges of the future.


Al Ghazzawi described Aramco’s approach to getting the energy mix right for the future.


In our view, the transition is anything but straightforward. First, you have to appreciate the scale and magnitude of the global energy system. This system energizes a $100 trillion global economy and any plan for the transition will have to acknowledge the complexity and the magnitude.
— Ashraf Al Ghazzawi


“We are an investor in renewable energy; we partnered with PIF and ACWApower for the development of 40 gigawatts by 2030,” he added.


Global divide

Referring to the north/south global divide, Al Ghazzawi echoed the emphasis of Aramco president and CEO, Amin Nasser, on the creation of a robust and realistic framework for the energy transition going forward that accounts for the unique needs and situations of each country. 


He also said that Aramco had taken a leading global position in terms of emissions reduction, enhancing efficiencies, reducing flaring, and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).


“We are also investing in carbon capture and sequestration with two global partners, Schlumberger and Linde, to develop a 9 million metric tonnes per annum CCS project, one of the largest, if not the largest in the world,” said Al Ghazzawi. 


“There is a focus on nature-based solutions too, and the company is intending to plant 650 million mangroves by 2035.


“We are following closely the development of hydrogen. We have plans to produce 2 million metric tonnes of hydrogen by 2030. While people have been talking about hydrogen, Aramco has already tested the supply chain with two shipments to South Korea and Japan.”

World energy needs

“We will continue to provide the energy needs for the world today, but we will also be spending a significant amount of money on developing technologies and innovative solutions to create the clean energy that is needed for the world tomorrow,” noted Al Ghazzawi.


The executive vice president concluded by pointing to the valuable opportunities for the younger generation to become attracted to and involved in the energy industry, an industry that touches every aspect of human lives, and with careers that can have a transformative impact on the world. 


ADIPEC 2023 attracted more than 160,000 attendees from 164 countries in the biggest edition of its near 40-year history.


The event took place just seven weeks before the UAE hosts COP28, providing a platform to convene governments and energy and related industries to align on the lower carbon, high growth future of energy.


Aramco participated as a sponsor, and had a major exhibit at the event, with company employees and experts making technical presentations across a wide range of industry topics.


CAPTION FOR TOP PHOTO: Ashraf A. Al Ghazzawi characterized the energy transition as more of a team relay than a race between individuals.


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