Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power signs clean energy agreements with Chinese companies

The utility developer has been boosting its investments to expand its portfolio globally

Acwa Power has signed initial agreements with China Southern Power Grid International Company and MingYang Smart Energy Group. Reuters
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Saudi Arabia's private utility developer Acwa Power has signed initial agreements with two Chinese companies to bolster collaboration in areas such as green hydrogen and ammonia, and renewable energy.

The agreements were signed with state-owned China Southern Power Grid International Company and clean energy company MingYang Smart Energy Group, Acwa Power said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Acwa Power has been at the forefront of this co-operation, and we are excited to continue working with our Chinese partners to build a more sustainable future,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of Acwa Power.

“Signing the two MoUs [memorandums of understanding] will strengthen our collaboration in green hydrogen and ammonia, global renewable energies, and integrated smart energies.”

Acwa Power, backed by the Public Investment Fund, operates in 12 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia 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 a day.

Acwa Power has been boosting its investments to expand its portfolio globally. Last week, it signed partnership agreements with six Italian companies to explore development of green hydrogen and water desalination projects.

In August, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority picked the Riyadh-based utility as preferred bidder to develop and operate the first phase of its seawater reverse osmosis plant at Hassyan.

Acwa Power made a bid to invest about $914 million in the project, which has a capacity of more than 180 million imperial gallons (818.2 million litres) a day.

The company, which is developing a $5 billion green hydrogen-based ammonia production plant in Saudi Arabia’s smart city Neom, plans to “replicate” the project elsewhere, Andrea Lovato, global head of hydrogen at Acwa Power, told The National in February.

The green hydrogen project at Neom will use 4 gigawatts of renewable power from solar, wind and storage to produce 650 tonnes a day of hydrogen from electrolysis.

The project, expected to come on stream in 2025, will produce about 1.2 million tonnes of green ammonia a year, the company said at the time.

Updated: September 13, 2023, 1:36 PM