Aberdeen City Council has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the following international regions and cities to encourage business links and open new markets:
Signed September 2021
Following two inward delegations to Aberdeen, from Barranquilla, in 2015 and 2016, a strong relationship between Aberdeen City Council and the City of Barranquilla developed. In 2017, the two cities signed a 3-year MoU, during which Aberdeen assisted Barranquilla with their successful application to join the World Energy Cities Partnership and assisted with relationship building between Aberdeen and Barranquilla’s business communities.
In September 2021, Aberdeen City Council re-entered a 3-year MoU with Barranquilla. The updated agreement recognises the importance of expanding cooperation between the cities and aims to enhance economic growth, particularly within the energy sector. The primary focus of the MoU is the energy transition with a priority action to transfer experiences, best practices, key information, and resources to help achieve the aim of increasing investment and productivity in this sector, to the benefit of both Barranquilla and Aberdeen.
Signed April 2022
In 2022, Aberdeen City Council entered a 3-year MoU with Hammerfest Kommune, the commercial centre of Norway’s West Finnmark province. The purpose of the memorandum is to expand cooperation and enhance economic growth around the energy and marine resource sectors in both cities. The memorandum signified a formalisation of the relationship between the two cities which developed over four years prior to the signing.
Hammerfest has an esteemed history of pioneering in energy. In 1891, Hammerfest was the first town in Northern Europe to have electricity. Projects taking place in Hammerfest are predominantly focused on clean energy. In a world-leading initiative, Horisont Energi, Equinor, and Vår Energi will launch the ‘Barents Blue Project’, Europe’s first large-scale carbon neutral ammonia production plant, including offshore carbon storage, situated at Markopnesset. The region will also see construction begin of the world’s first fully electrified copper mine by Norwegian company Nussir ASA.
Signed March 2022
Aberdeen City Council and Kobe City entered a 3-year MoU in 2019. The MoU followed and expanded upon a Statement of Intent that was signed by the two cities in 2018 during the Mayor of Kobe’s visit to Aberdeen.
Aberdeen and Kobe re-entered an MoU agreement in 2022, expanding upon the previous cooperation between the two, and strengthening the commitments made by both parties to working collaboratively on hydrogen projects for the benefit of residents and businesses in both cities.
Notably, the two cities have agreed to focus on stimulating and supporting ocean-related business interactions between them, and strong relationships have been formed between universities from Aberdeen and Kobe.
In November 2022 Aberdeen and Kobe were recognised as ‘H2 Twin Cities’ under a programme of activity by the Clean Energy Minister within the US Department of Energy. H2 Twin Cities is an initiative that showcases cities and communities around the world which deploy clean hydrogen solutions with the aim of promoting international partnership working by sharing best practices and lessons learned.
As part of the agreement, seven key work packages around hydrogen are planned for delivery over the next five years focusing on public engagement, ports, heat, jobs, emissions reduction, and supply chain growth.
Signed October 2021
Aberdeen City Council signed a three-year MoU with the Brazilian municipality of Macaé in 2021. Macaé is located in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, just over 100 miles from the state capital, and has a strong presence in the energy industry, particularly in the offshore sector.
The MoU recognises how the cities can benefit from a key strategic partnership which highlights the importance of expanding cooperation and enhancing economic growth in the energy sector. The signatory cities agreed to focus on activity that will generate business, jobs, and growth outcomes for both cities.
Muroran City, Japan
Signed September 2021
Aberdeen City Council entered a three-year MoU with the Japanese city Muroran in 2021, due to the cities' mutual interest in new energy business developments focused on sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Muroran City is a coastal port city in Northern Japan and has become one of Japan’s sustainable cities in recent years. Muroran is leading the way to becoming an ‘Eco-Industrial Hub City’ by focusing environmental businesses in the industrial city as a way of regaining vitality.
The MoU aims to establish and develop the relationship between the cities for an effective long-term relationship in the energy industry, with a primary focus on the hydrogen industry and building academic and business links between the cities.
Signed March 2021
Aberdeen City Council has an active MoU with Pemba, Mozambique. Following a high-profile visit to Aberdeen from the President of Mozambique in 2013, further inward and outward visits led to the development of an MoU between Aberdeen and Pemba which was signed in February 2018, to provide a more formal framework to the cooperation. The MoU is focused on strengthening the engagement between the two cities in the of economic growth, business development, and training sectors.
In 2021, Aberdeen City Council and Pemba signed an agreement to extend the MoU until March 2024. The current MoU focuses on economic growth, training, capacity building, and direct business-to-business links.
World Energy Cities Partnership
The World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP) connects leading energy cities on all continents that are committed to fostering the transition to a more sustainable energy future. Established in 1995, the WECP is a non-profit organisation whose member cities are globally recognised as international energy capitals.
The WECP’s 19 ‘member cities’ are home to many of the world’s largest energy companies and leading low-carbon energy initiatives. These member cities actively seek and develop opportunities to learn, exchange, and engage in activities that strengthen multilateral ties. The WECP is bound by a cooperative agreement signed by the mayors of each city, who serve as board members; is directed by an elected President and Vice-President; and is supported by a secretariat office based in Houston, USA.
As hubs for the global energy sector, WECP cities and mayors are leading voices on the most pressing challenges facing the urban landscape today, including sustainable economic development, climate action, and building more resilient cities.
Notably, Aberdeen hosted the 2019 WECP Annual General Meeting event and held the presidency of the WECP between 2019 and 2022. Following a successful term as Vice-President, Mayor Rasmussen of Esbjerg was elected as President of the WECP for the 2022 – 2024 period, by the partnership’s member cities.
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