A link up between Abu Dhabi renewables group Masdar and Malaysian oil & gas player Petronas will see the pair look for joint opportunities in utility-scale renewable energy, including Asian offshore wind and the fast-emerging floating solar sector.

The partners will look for “joint participation” in projects “in Asia and beyond”, said a statement announcing a memorandum of understanding between them that specifically mentioned Malaysia itself, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Masdar, backed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala , is the Middle East’s most globally active renewables developer while Petronas is among Asia’s biggest oil players.

They will “focus on utility-scale renewable energy, including ground-mounted and floating solar projects, as well as offshore wind projects in Asia, and potentially other regions and other technologies”. Green hydrogen produced using renewables could also feature in the partnership.

Petronas is regularly cited as a potentially major force in Asia’s fast-growing offshore wind sector, thanks to its profile in offshore oil & gas, while Masdar already has a foothold in wind at sea in the UK market.

Masdar’s existing portfolio includes a stake in Hywind Scotland, the first commercial array for floating wind – a technology that’s tipped to play a key role in Asia's energy transition.

Floating solar

The two will also work together in floating solar, also widely expected to be especially suitable for Asia where it can take space on lakes, reservoirs and sheltered coastal sites and reduce the need to find scarce onshore land for PV. Masdar is already co-developing several large floating PV projects in Southeast Asia.

Petronas is in in the early stages of its energy transition plans, with about 1GW of solar operating or under development. In 2019 it acquired Amplus Energy, a regional distributed solar developer.

Petronas CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz said: “The MoU with Masdar marks another milestone in our existing partnership with Mubadala, which will now include a focus on renewables and green hydrogen.”