11bn to develop Masdar eco-city

It will cost $22 billion (£11 billion) to build Masdar, the 'no-carbon' eco-city district in the United Arab Emirates, state-controlled Abu Dhabi Future Energy (Masdar) said on Saturday.

Car-free Masdar City, on the edge of the city of Abu Dhabi, will eventually be home to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses, according to Masdar, which aims to build the world's greenest city.

At a ground-breaking ceremony on Saturday night, Masdar chief executive officer Sultan al-Jaber said Abu Dhabi will be investing $4 billion of equity in the project, and borrowing the rest.

"No one has ever built a zero-carbon city before. Nor one producing zero waste or fully powered by renewable energy. Masdar city will accomplish all three," he said.

In January, the Abu Dhabi government said it planned to invest $15 billion in its Masdar initiative, which includes building the world's largest hydrogen power plant.

The UAE is the world's fifth biggest oil exporter and is one of the highest emitters of CO2 in the world.

Architects Foster and partners are building Masdar to use 75 per cent less power than a conventional city and less than half the desalinated water.

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