ACWA Power expands operation to Uzbekistan with wind farm deal

ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinated water plants in 13 countries, signed an implementation agreement with the Ministry of Investments & Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan for the development, construction and operation of a 1500 MW wind power project in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

The deal was signed in the presence of Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, Saudi Minister of Energy, and Sardor Umurzakov, Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments & Foreign Trade. Once operational, the project will become the largest wind farm in the Central Asian region, and one of the largest in the world.

The agreement was signed on behalf of ACWA Power by Ayad Al Amri, Executive General Manager of Business Development, and on behalf of the Uzbekistani side by Sherzod Khodjaev, Deputy Minister at the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy, and Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade.

Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, Yazeed Al Humaid, Director of local investment at the Public Investment Fund, and Saudi and Uzbekistani officials attended the signing ceremony.

The implementation, development, construction, and operation of the largest wind farm in the Central Asian region by a Saudi company reflects the Kingdom’s leadership in the field of energy and its capability to develop the human and technical potential for Saudi companies, especially in the renewables sphere.

The project seeks to bolster the Uzbekistan government’s efforts to diversify the country’s energy mix and increase its renewable energy capacity in line with recent strategic reforms. The announcement follows the signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and Investment Agreements for two wind power projects in Bukhara and Navoi, concluded earlier this year with an aggregate power generation capacity of 1000 MW. ACWA Power also has a 1500 MW high efficiency gas fired power project under construction in Sirdarya, Uzbekistan.

Sardor Umurzakov, Uzbekisatan’s Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade said, “We value our partnership with ACWA Power and welcome this expansion, which will be the largest facility of its kind in the Central Asian region once commissioned. This project will contribute to the implementation of our national renewable energy target of bringing the total renewable power generation capacity to 25 per cent by 2030.”

“As an energy producer, we in Uzbekistan are learning much from our Middle Eastern, especially Saudi, partners as we navigate the transition to a low-carbon economy,” Uzbekistan Energy Minister Alisher Sultanov said on the occasion. “ACWA Power’s project will be a major contributor to our plan to generate 25 per cent of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.”

Commenting on the occasion, Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, said: “We are delighted to finalise the implementation agreement for the 1500 MW Karakalpakstan wind farm with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investments & Foreign Trade, and Ministry of Energy here in Saudi Arabia; expanding on our international cooperation and continued partnership aimed at accelerating Uzbekistan’s energy transition. This project is yet another landmark accomplishment for the country, and reinforces ACWA Power’s commitment to working with high growth markets such as Uzbekistan to deliver on their ambitious renewable energy targets and sustainability goals.”

The project is expected to cater to the power needs of approximately 4 million households and offset approximately 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, contributing directly to the government’s aims to generate 30 per cent of Uzbekistan’s power capacity from renewable sources by 2030, to meet growing yearly electricity demand, efficiently and sustainably.

ACWA Power is a developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinated water production plants. Registered and established in 2004 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, ACWA Power employs about 3,500 people and is currently present in 13 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and south-east Asia. ACWA Power’s portfolio includes 62 assets with an investment value of $65 billion, producing 42 GW of power and 5.8 million m3/day of desalinated water, delivered on a bulk basis to address the needs of state utilities and industries on long-term, offtake contracts under utility services outsourcing and PPP models.

ACWA Power’s mission is to reliably deliver electricity and desalinated water at a low cost, thereby making an effective contribution to the sustainable, social and economic development of communities and countries.