Acwa Power signs new energy deals worth up to $2.5bn in Uzbekistan

Saudi company will build power plants in the central Asian republic to boost its energy security

Riyadh's Acwa Power signed three deals, worth up to $2.5 billion (Dh9.18bn), with the Uzbekistan government to build power plants. The company will also help develop technical expertise for students and professionals in the central Asian country's energy sector.

The deals include a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement and Investment Agreement for the development, construction and operation of a 1,500 megawatt combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Shirin City, in the Sirdarya region of Uzbekistan. The total investment in the project will be $1.2bn.

"The 1,500MW CCGT power plant shall contribute to Uzbekistan's fast track ambitious plan to attract foreign direct investment in essential key sectors and the implementation of its energy diversification strategy," Acwa Power said on Sunday.

JSC National Electric Grids of Uzbekistan will be the sole off-taker, or the entity that buys electricity generated by the plant.

Another agreement, worth between $550 million and $1.1bn, was awarded to build wind power plants with a capacity of 500MW to 1,000MW.

Acwa Power will also be involved in conducting training programmes for students and professionals at one or more colleges in the country.

"Our collaboration with Acwa Power will enable the government to benefit from the strong private sector participation which we believe is vital for Uzbekistan's ongoing transformation and growth," said Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister of
Uzbekistan.

Acwa Power, which is co-owned by nine Saudi conglomerates, including the Vision International Investment Company, Public Investment Fund, Saudi Public Pensions Agency and the International Finance Corporation, operates in 12 countries in the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia. It has a portfolio of 56 assets with a total investment of $45.5bn producing 31GW of power and 5.2 million cubic metres per day of desalinated water.

“With our relentless pursuit to align with the pillars of the Saudi Vision 2030 and contribute effectively to achieving its aspirations and goals, we are moving forward on our path of global growth through expanding our geographical footprint and presence in central Asia,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of Acwa Power.

The company aims to operate in 40 countries by 2030, its chief executive Paddy Padmanathan said last month in Abu Dhabi. It is also considering an initial public offering to boost growth.

Acwa Power signed an agreement to develop, build and operate a 240MW wind power project in Azerbaijan earlier this year.

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