Acwa Power plans to double its clean energy portfolio in next five years

The Riyadh-based company will increase its renewable energy capacity to 40 gigawatts from 20 gigawatts currently, its chief executive says

Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power aims to double its renewable energy portfolio in the coming years as the company prepares to go public and raise more funds to fuel its growth amid higher demand for clean energy.

“Within the next five years, we will double our current portfolio and much of that will be renewable energy,” Acwa Power’s chief executive Paddy Padmanathan told Bloomberg television on Monday. The company will increase its renewable energy capacity to 40 gigawatts in the period from 20 gigawatts currently, he added.

Acwa Power is proceeding with its initial public offering and will list 11.1 per cent of its shares on Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange, it said last week. The Riyadh-based company will use the net proceeds of the offering to further strengthen its balance sheet and fund future projects in the energy and water desalination sectors.

Mr Padmanathan said the meetings with potential investors ahead of the IPO have gone “very well”.

“Investors that we have engaged with in pre-IPO presentations have received us very well,” he said. “With our own established capability, capacity and track record to drive the energy transition and reduce the cost of desalinated water”, we are in “the right place at the right time”.

Acwa Power operates in 13 countries across the Middle East, Africa and South-east Asia. It has a portfolio of 64 assets with a total investment of $66 billion, producing 42 gigawatts of power and 6.4 million cubic metres per day of desalinated water.

The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, is the biggest shareholder in the company, with a 50 per cent stake. Acwa Power has eight other stakeholders, including the Saudi Public Pension Agency.

The company will also be looking at acquisition opportunities as it “steps into new markets”, Mr Padmanathan said, without divulging details.

Earlier this year, Acwa Power signed an agreement with the government of Uzbekistan to develop two wind power plants in the country's Bukhara and Navoi regions with a total capacity of 2.5 gigawatts. It is also developing a 240-megawatt wind plant in Azerbaijan.

Acwa Power's listing will be one of the biggest in the region's energy industry after Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's oil company.

The company also raised 2.8bn Saudi riyals ($746 million) through the issuance of a seven-year sukuk, or Islamic bond, in June as the company continues to diversify its sources of funding to support its growth.

Updated: September 6th 2021, 1:36 PM
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