Acwa Power signs agreement to develop $1.5bn wind energy project in Kazakhstan

The project scheduled to be completed in 2027 marks Saudi Arabia's biggest investment in the power sector in the country

Acwa Power windmills on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco. Reuters
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Saudi Arabia's private utility Acwa Power has signed a roadmap agreement with the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan and Samruk-Kazyna, the country’s investment development fund and sovereign wealth fund, for the development of a one-gigawatt wind energy and battery storage project in Kazakhstan.

With an investment tag of $1.5 billion, the new project marks Saudi Arabia's biggest investment in Kazakhstan's power sector to date and is scheduled to be completed in 2027, Acwa Power said in a statement on Tuesday. The agreement was signed in the presence of Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

“The project aims to support national climate action, utilise renewables and promote sustainable development through innovation and technology integration,” the company said. “The development will play a crucial role in decarbonising fossil fuel-based power generation.”

The development of the new project comes as countries focus on cutting emissions to reach net-zero targets in the coming decades. Kazakhstan aims to become carbon neutral by 2060 and has set a renewable electricity generation target of 50 per cent by 2050.

“The signing today exemplifies the remarkable progress of the project, setting the stage for Kazakhstan's stride towards its clean energy ambitions,” said Marco Arcelli, chief executive of Acwa Power. “The transformative project will have a profound impact on the country's socioeconomic landscape.”

The company signed a head of terms agreement on the project earlier this year.

Acwa Power operates in 12 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Central and South-East Asia. The company's portfolio comprises 77 projects in operation, advanced development or construction with an investment value of $78.2 billion and the capacity to generate 50.4 gigawatts of power and manage 6.8 million cubic metres of desalinated water per day.

The company aims to have about 120 gigawatts of power-generating capacity in the next 10 years with a presence in 20 countries, its chief financial officer Abdulhameed Al Muhaidib told The National last year.

Last year, Acwa also signed $12 billion worth of agreements to develop new energy projects in Uzbekistan, including the world’s largest single onshore wind project, with a total capacity of 1.5 gigawatts, in the Karakalpakstan region of the country.

Updated: June 14, 2023, 6:34 AM