Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power opens $320mln green energy project

Inauguration of Sakaka PV IPP marks a pivotal moment in the continued energy diversification and development plans of Saudi Arabia

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A worker stands at a desalination plant, 35 lm south of Riyadh, May 4, 2011.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A worker stands at a desalination plant, 35 lm south of Riyadh, May 4, 2011.

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power, a leader in power generation and water desalination plants, has inaugurated the 300MW Sakaka PV IPP, the kingdom’s first utility scale renewable energy project at an investment of SR1.2 billion ($320 million).

The ceremony was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, and in the presence of HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Minister of Energy, and Prince Faisal bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Al-Jouf Region.

“The private sector plays a fundamental role in the development of renewable energy projects in the Kingdom. The Sakaka project we are inaugurating today was developed by Acwa Power, together with various Saudi companies that have worked alongside Acwa Power to make this remarkable achievement a reality,” said Prince Abdulaziz.

“Acwa Power is the leading national company in this field, and it is considered a state-owned company and is sponsored by the state, because Acwa Power has proven to be a distinct company worthy of the government’s ownership. Consequently, the Public Investment Fund currently has 50% ownership of Acwa Power, which as my brother Mohammad mentioned, spans thirteen countries around the world. One of its most important projects is Sakaka PV, which as my brother Mohamed also stated, that 97% of the operating team are Saudis, and 90% of the workforce is from Al Jouf region,” he added.

The inauguration of Sakaka PV IPP marks a pivotal moment in the continued energy diversification and development plans of Saudi Arabia. The project was awarded to an Acwa Power led consortium at a world record tariff, at the time, of 8.781 halalas/kWh in 2018, which has paved the way for subsequent projects of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) to lower the cost of clean solar electricity in the Kingdom.

Mohammad Abunayyan, Acwa Power Chairman, said: “We are proud to extend our market leadership, contributing to the mission to achieve the goals of Vision 2030 and the requirements of the National Renewable Energy Program launched in the Kingdom by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; guided by the directives of the Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; and underpinned by the unparalleled support of His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Minister of Energy

Abunayyan stated that the success of completing the Sakaka project in record time embodies a pivotal foundation for diversifying the energy mix and accelerating energy efficiency in the Kingdom, as well as transferring Acwa Power’s international expertise, knowledge and capabilities in the global renewable sector back to the Kingdom.

The Sakaka project will encourage local Saudi companies to participate in the implementation of renewable energy projects and support Saudi talent in cultivating the skills and competencies needed in this thriving sector, which constitutes one of the Kingdom’s key pillars for sustainable socioeconomic development.

Al Gihaz Holding, a major Saudi contractor and investor, owns a 30% stake in the Sakaka Solar Energy Company (SSEC), alongside Acwa Power's 70% stake, and was instrumental in both the investment, engineering, procurement and construction of the project. – TradeArabia News Service

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