Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power signs clean energy deals worth $746m

Agreements include a $500m initial pact with EIG to co-operate in sectors such as power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen

Acwa Power signed several agreements on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. Photo: Acwa Power
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Saudi Arabia's private utility developer Acwa Power has signed agreements worth $746 million for the development of clean energy projects.

The deals include a $500 million initial agreement with EIG, an energy-focused institutional investor, to co-operate in sectors such as power generation, water desalination, and green hydrogen, with a focus on investing in projects in Gulf countries and Uzbekistan.

Acwa Power also signed funding agreements worth $246 million with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Opec Fund for International Development for the development of a 240-megawatt wind power project in Azerbaijan.

The agreements, which were signed at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, are subject to the completion of certain conditions.

The Khizi-Absheron project is the first foreign investment-based independent wind power plant in Azerbaijan, with a total investment of $347 million, Acwa Power said.

The national electrical power company Azerenerji is the sole off-taker for the project, which, once completed, is expected to power nearly 300,000 households.

EIG’s “commitment to working with Acwa Power is a sign of confidence in the company’s strong position in power, water, and green hydrogen, and we look forward to collaborating in these areas”, Marco Arcelli, chief executive of Acwa Power, said.

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.

“Through our support we aim to catalyse clean energy generation and a diversified energy future for Azerbaijan. The agreement is also testament to what international development co-operation can achieve,” Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, director general of Opec Fund, said.

Azerbaijan, which largely relies on natural gas to meet its energy needs, has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent by 2030 and is fast-tracking public-private partnerships to develop wind projects in the country.

Earlier this week, Acwa Power signed an initial agreement with three Dutch companies to explore the establishment of a green hydrogen export corridor between the company's production sites and the port of Amsterdam.

The pact will explore incentive opportunities that could promote demand for green hydrogen and make it more affordable.

On Thursday, Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar announced the inauguration of the 230-megawatt Garadagh Solar Park in Azerbaijan, the region’s “largest” operational solar plant, which is due to open soon.

Masdar also signed agreements for solar and onshore wind projects with a total capacity of 1 gigawatt in the Central Asian country.

Updated: October 26, 2023, 1:45 PM