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Coral’s Strategy Advisor Shares Insights on Energy Transition at 12th Annual AmCham MENA Regional Conference in Dubai

26 April 2024

The following article first appeared in the April 26, 2024, edition of Akhbar Al Yawm.

At The 12th Annual AmCham MENA Regional Conference held in Dubai from April 17-19, 2024, Marc Khawaja, Strategy and Business Development Advisor at Coral Oil Company Limited, brought invaluable perspectives to the panel discussion on “Financing Energy Transition.”

The conference, held in partnership with The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hosted at the Westin Mina Seyahi Resort and Marina Hotel, convened senior representatives from various organizations, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. Department of State Energy Bureau, and regional private sector entities.

Amid a backdrop of global collaboration and shared aspirations for sustainability under the theme “One Region, One Voice,” Khawaja’s insights shed light on Coral’s proactive approach and the challenges and opportunities facing energy transition in the MENA region.

Coral has been at the forefront of embedding energy transition and sustainable aspirations within its strategy since 2020. Khawaja highlighted several initiatives that Coral has undertaken, demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability. These initiatives include joining the U.N. Global Compact Network and taking the crucial step of assessing its carbon footprint since 2021 with the support of the World Kinect Energy, a part of World Fuel Services. This assessment showed a significant reduction in carbon footprint across stations since 2021.

Khawaja stated: “At Coral Oil Company, we’re actively exploring and implementing cutting-edge technologies to reduce carbon emissions in our operations. This includes investing in renewable energy sources to power our facilities, implementing energy efficiency measures and adopting more efficient processes. Our initiatives also extend to supporting research in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and exploring the potential of green hydrogen for the future.”

However, Khawaja emphasized that one of the primary obstacles hindering energy transition in the MENA region is the subsidization of electricity and power generation by governments. Subsidies artificially lower the cost of energy, creating a disincentive for individuals and businesses to invest in renewable energy solutions.

Furthermore, Khawaja advocated for the importance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and the critical role of Direct Foreign Investments (DFIs). These partnerships and financial mechanisms are instrumental in providing the necessary support and incentives for both the private sector and the community to transition toward sustainable energy solutions.

Oscar Yamin, CEO of Coral, said: “Lebanon today has the three essential pillars that are indispensable for driving sustainability in the energy sector: the market demand for renewable energy, a robust private sector and a fair regulatory framework. For that reason, we believe that today the journey toward a more sustainable energy future in Lebanon is more promising than ever.”

As the world increasingly prioritizes sustainability and environmental responsibility, Coral stands at the forefront in driving energy transition in the MENA region. Through strategic initiatives and collaborative partnerships, Coral is not only shaping its own future but also contributing to the collective effort toward a more sustainable and resilient world.

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