Acwa Power to develop $2.5bn worth of power project in Uzbekistan

The projects will deliver a total of 2.5 Gigawatts of power into Uzbekistan's grid upon completion

The 1500MW CCGT power plant Sirdarya site. Courtesy ACWA Power
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Saudi Arabian developer Acwa Power and the government of Uzbekistan signed power purchase agreements for two wind power plants in the country's Bukhara and Navoi regions, as the Central Asian state looks to add more renewable capacity.

Acwa Power will deliver a total of 2.5 Gigawatts of power into Uzbekistan's grid upon the completion of three power projects that are valued at $2.5 billion.

A power purchase agreement refers to a contract where a producer sells electricity generated to a consumer, which is typically a utility or a country.

Acwa Power's chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said it was playing "a vital role in supporting Uzbekistan's decarbonisation efforts and energy transformation".

The former Soviet state has a growing demand for electricity, which is expected to reach 110 billion kiloWatt hours by 2030.

Acwa Power also broke ground on a 1.5GW combined cycle gas turbine plant in Sirdarya, Uzbekistan.

The new CCGT power plant will meet 15 per cent of electricity requirements in Uzbekistan and will be equivalent to 8 per cent of power capacity when completed.

The Sirdarya project is estimated to be worth $1.2bn with an efficiency rate of 60 per cent, which the company said would save nearly twice the natural gas currently being consumed in other power plants across the country.

The two wind power plants with a total capacity of 1GW are worth $1.3bn and are expected to offset 1.6 million tonnes of emissions per year.

"The projects will contribute one third of Uzbekistan’s 3 GW wind energy targets, supplying 2.7 million households and supports the government’s aims to have 30 per cent of its power capacity from renewable sources by 2030," Acwa Power said.

Renewable developers from the Gulf are playing an increasingly larger role in helping Uzbekistan meet its clean energy targets.

Masdar, a renewable power company from Abu Dhabi, reached financial close last month on a 100MW solar photovoltaic plant in Uzbekistan – the country's first independent power producer.

The company plans to bid on three projects in the country, with a collective capacity of one gigawatt, Masdar clean energy director Yousif Al Ali told The National in an interview earlier this month.

Masdar also previously worked on a 500MW utility-scale wind project in the country. It also plans to help Uzbekistan chart green recovery strategies post-pandemic.