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Masdar will announce revised plan 'imminently'

Renewables flagship seeking to become economically viable.

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Masdar City's revised master plan will be unveiled soon.
Masdar City's revised master plan will be unveiled soon.

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s government-backed renewable-energy organisation, will announce its revised master plan for the Masdar City project in the next two to three weeks, an official told Bloomberg.

“We’ll finalise the revised Masdar plan fairly imminently, in the next two to three weeks,” Richard Reynolds, Masdar’s head of supply-chain management said at a conference in Dubai on Tuesday. “We’d only built part of it, so it made sense to stop and revisit.”

Founded in 2006, the US$22 billion venture undertook a strategic review towards the end of last year after the financial crisis tightening spending. The initial strategy envisioned for Masdar was “very ambitious,” chief executive officer Sultan al-Jaber admitted earlier this month.

One of the issues being considered in the review is “how to make Masdar economically viable,” Reynolds said.

“Yes, we made staff cuts,” to eliminate an overlap of roles, he said. “We’re revisiting the choice of design and the commercial mix of the city.”

The venture includes a university, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, as well as units that plan to invest in solar power and carbon capture and storage in a country that is one of the world’s biggest per capita producers of carbon- dioxide emissions.

Masdar City itself will house all the renewable energy initiatives. Designed by London-based architects Foster & Partners Ltd., the initial proposal intended to eliminate cars and trucks at street level and include shaded walkways.

The plan to leave conventional cars at the city’s entrance and drive around the 6-square-kilometer (2.3-square-mile) location in electric driverless vehicles known as pods, is being reconsidered, Reynolds said.

“Having 3,000 pods running around the city would be great, but those were vehicles that couldn’t go outside Masdar,” he said. “So now, maybe we will have electric trains, or electric cars that can be used everywhere.”
 

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