Ignacio Galán and Tamim al-Thani promote co-operation

The Qatari sovereign wealth fund controls 8.7% of Iberdrola and Emir Al-Thani will meet in Spain with King Felipe VI, the Prime Minister and businessmen
Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Ignacio Sánchez Galán

 -   Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Ignacio Sánchez Galán

The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is in the middle of a road show in Spain. The aim of the state visit is to strengthen relations between the two countries, so that he will meet with the head of state, Felipe VI, with the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, as well as with businessmen. Iberdrola, of which the country's sovereign wealth fund is the largest shareholder, is one of his major links with Spain.

Strategic relations between the two countries date back almost three decades and trade exchanges exceed 1 billion euros per year. Iberdrola is the largest investment in Spain of the emirate's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), with an 8.7% stake in the company chaired by Ignacio Galán. Its investment is valued at around 6,000 million euros. 

The Emirate's sovereign wealth fund is Iberdrola's largest shareholder, after signing an alliance with the company in 2011. The move has worked out well for the vehicle that channels the country's wealth, created in 2005 to invest in sectors other than gas and oil, which feed the state's coffers. The energy company chaired by Ignacio Galán has more than doubled its price since that year, profits to which must be added the dividends it has distributed, some four euros per share. QIA also bets on other large Spanish companies, such as IAG and Colonial.

Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani e Ignacio Sánchez Galán
Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Ignacio Sánchez Galán
Great collaboration between the two countries

The collaboration between Spain and the emirate has been consolidated with annual trade exchanges of over 1,000 million euros and, according to the latest ICEX data, with his visit to Spain, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will strengthen relations between both territories at a time of profound changes in the international sphere.

According to diplomatic sources, it is now essential to maintain an intense and fluid dialogue between the two countries, and Iberdrola will continue to be a bridge for channelling investment between Spain and Qatar. The energy company will take advantage of the Free Trade Zones Authority, chaired by Ahmad al-Sayed, who headed QIA when it joined Iberdrola 11 years ago.

The Qatar-Spain Business Council, co-chaired by Ignacio Galán and Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, will also be an extraordinary instrument to foster collaboration. The role of QIA, with some $450 billion (around 425 billion euros) under management, is already crucial for Spain. Thanks to Iberdrola, the Qatari vehicle is the second largest investor in the Spanish stock market.

Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani e Ignacio Sánchez Galán
Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Ignacio Sánchez Galán

The renewable energy and infrastructure sector is fundamental for Qatar, hence its solid commitment to Iberdrola. The country has a well-defined roadmap for its future through its Qatar National Vision 2030 strategic plan, which is based on innovation and sustainable growth, and in which Iberdrola will be a cornerstone. The utility, in addition to being Europe's largest company by capitalisation, with a stock market value of 70 billion euros, is a leader in renewable energies and a pioneer in smart grids, storage, green hydrogen and innovation in the energy sector.

The collaboration between Iberdrola and Qatar dates back to 2005, when the company entered the gas business in the country and established itself five years later with the construction of the Mesaieed power plant, one of the largest in the Middle East. The investment amounted to some 2 billion dollars (1.9 billion euros at current exchange rates).

Ignacio Sánchez Galán

A commitment of more than a decade

QIA entered the energy company's capital with 6.2% in 2011, then raised its stake to the current 8.7% and has always supported Iberdrola's business model, driven by Ignacio Galán, which has focused its investment of more than 130 billion euros over the past two decades on renewables, smart grids, storage and smart solutions for customers.

Further proof of the strong alliance between Qatar and the energy company lies in the Iberdrola Innovation Middle East, located in the Doha Science and Technology Park, which is a global benchmark for the development of innovative solutions in smart grids, renewable energy integration and energy efficiency.

Iberdrola's renewable assets are the jewel in the crown of the energy company, which has an installed capacity of around 40,000 MW, with a plan to 2025: the goal is to have 60,000 MW by that year. It supplies energy to 100 million people and thousands of companies and also sets an example, having reduced its own CO2 emissions to 60 grams per kWh in Europe, some six times less than those of Iberdrola's main competitors in Spain and Europe.

In the coming years it will continue its investments in more renewables, grids, storage and in the development of green hydrogen, with some 65 billion dollars (62 billion euros) by 2025. In addition, Iberdrola maintains its goal of achieving a net profit this year of between 4,000 and 4,200 million euros.