Saudi-based Acwa Power has announced the launch of three ground-breaking power projects in Uzbekistan with a combined investment value of $2.5 billion and a 2500MW capacity.
Of these, two are wind power plants located at Bukhara and Navoi regions of the Central Asian nation with aggregate power generation capacity of 1000MW, while the other one is the 1500MW Sirdarya CCGT plant, said a statement from Acwa Power, which has entered into a strategic framework agreement with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy and US-based Air Products.
As per the deal, the trio will work on research programmes in the fields of renewable energy and hydrogen.
Following agreements signed in March last year, the cooperation between the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade, and Acwa Power has led to three major milestones in the development of power projects to enable the country’s ambitious energy transformation plan and increase energy capacity by 2500MW, said the statement.
The ground-breaking ceremony of the 1500MW Sirdarya CCGT plant was followed by the signing of two power purchase agreements (PPA) and investment agreements for the wind plants in the presence of Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov, and Energy Minister Alisher Sultanov as well as a Saudi Arabian delegation led by Minister of Investment Engineer Khalid Al Falih and Ambassador to Uzbekistan Hisham Mishal Al Suwailem.
Acwa Power said it will be delivering these three projects utilising its technical knowledge, expertise, and experience, to contribute directly to meeting Uzbekistan’s growing yearly electricity demand, which is expected to reach 110 billion kWh by 2030.
The company’s contribution is also aligned with Uzbekistan’s national mandate to increase energy efficiency, introduce energy-saving technologies, and develop and implement renewable energy sources, under its recent energy sector reforms, it added.
Speaking on the ocassion, Al Falih said: "These visionary projects mark the start of a new chapter in the investment relationship between Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. As the Minister of Investment for Saudi Arabia, it is particularly pleasing to see a homegrown Saudi company such as Acwa Power supporting Uzbekistan to deliver such a vital component of its infrastructure investment program, which is central to the country’s economic transformation."
He pointed out that Acwa Power was a true Saudi success story and a cornerstone of the kingdom’s burgeoning private sector.
"This growth is being supported by various business-friendly reforms introduced by the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade. I am confident that this partnership signals the start of further collaborations in the trade and investment space for both of our nations," he added.
Sultanov said: "Most importantly, today’s milestones show that we are delivering on our promises. Enhancing Uzbekistan’s clean energy capacity involves many developmental and investment targets to be hit, over a period of time."
"By executing our plans efficiently, we will only attract more investment to Uzbekistan, and improve our nation’s energy status," he stated.
Lauding Acwa Power and the wider Saudi delegation for making this triumph happen, Sulatnov said: "We look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship."
Acwa Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said: "As a proud Saudi company, we are privileged to play a vital role in supporting Uzbekistan’s decarbonisation efforts and energy transformation, stemming from the international cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan under their progressive and visionary leadership."
"Through the addition of new renewable energy capacity, exploration of innovative technologies and the advancement of cleaner, more efficient and cost-competitive gas power, we are expanding our presence in Uzbekistan, a high growth market, leveraging our global expertise and technical know-how to create long-term and sustainable value for the country’s local communities," remarked Abunayyan.
"Acwa Power is also committed to training and upskilling 1000 local employees in Uzbekistan during the project’s construction and operation phases, generating long-term, socio-economic value through knowledge sharing and job creation," he added.
The groundbreaking of the 1500MW Sirdarya CCGT plant was marked by ceremonially commencing construction.
The project will provide cleaner, more efficient and cost-competitive gas power that can be utilised across industries in Uzbekistan and is expected to meet 15 percent of power demand in Uzbekistan and comprise of 8 percent of installed power capacity when complete.-TradeArabia News Service