Acwa Power shares surge 30% in record listing for a renewables company in the Middle East

The listing is Saudi Arabia's largest since the public offering of Aramco in 2019 that raised $29.4bn

Acwa Power-generating windmills are pictured in Jbel Sendouq, on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco. The company plans to double its renewable energy portfolio in five years following its listing amid higher demand for clean energy. REUTERS
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Shares of Saudi Arabian energy developer Acwa Power surged nearly 30 per cent in their debut on the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange after a $1.2 billion initial public offering, the kingdom's largest listing since Aramco went public.

Acwa Power's shares traded at 72.80 Saudi riyals ($19.41), nearly 1.3 times the offer price of 56 riyals per share.

The Riyadh-based utility developer offered about 81.2 million shares in one of the biggest listings in the energy space after Saudi Aramco's record IPO on the Tadawul in 2019, which raised a record $29.4bn.

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 $66bn, producing 42 gigawatts of power and 6.4 million cubic metres a day of desalinated water.

The developer is at the forefront of Saudi Arabia's efforts to diversify its energy sector with greener investments. The world's largest oil exporter plans to add gas and renewables capacity equating to one million barrels of oil a day by 2030.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, is the biggest shareholder in the company with a 50 per cent stake.

Acwa Power has seven other stakeholders, including the Saudi Public Pension Agency.

The company is involved in developing one of the biggest hydrogen projects in the Middle East. Alongside Saudi Aramco and Air Products, Acwa Power is developing a $5bn green hydrogen project in the kingdom's futuristic city of Neom.

The PIF is also helping the kingdom diversify away from fossil fuels. Last month, PIF said it would allocate 50 per cent of its investments to renewable and sustainable power sources and issue a green sukuk soon.

Under its Vision 2030 initiative, the kingdom is taking measures to move away from hydrocarbons and decarbonise its utility systems.

The country plans to generate up to 50 per cent of its electricity from clean sources.

Acwa Power also plans to double its renewable energy portfolio in five years following its listing amid higher demand for clean energy.

The company will increase its renewable energy capacity to 40 gigawatts in the period from 20 gigawatts currently.

Updated: October 11, 2021, 11:32 AM