UAE-based Crescent Investments has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Russia’s Inter Rao UES to pursue power generation opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

Crescent Investments is part of the Crescent Group, which has been operating as a regional upstream and midstream oil and gas industry player for more than 40 years through its subsidiary Crescent Petroleum.

Rao UES is keen to expand its presence beyond its native country into new markets, including the Middle East. It has participated in several tenders, but is yet to be awarded any significant contracts in the Mena region.

“Governments are pouring enormous amounts of capital into generation facilities to keep up with demand, including the region’s second wave of independent power projects,” the two companies said in a shared statement. “The GCC countries alone will invest $160bn to develop 180GW of new capacity by 2019, and Iraq alone is expected to rebuild 14-16GW of capacity in the next five years at a cost of $25bn.”