ACWA Power announces China’s Silk Road Fund as co-investor in $1 billion Uzbekistan project

Sep 15, 2022 by Energy Connects
image is Power Grid

ACWA Power will continue to be the majority shareholder in the project, holding 51% stake in the Uzbek facility, while the Silk Road Fund will now own 49% of the Sirdarya project.

ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide, and China’s Silk Road Fund have signed a share purchase agreement for the 1.5 GW Sirdarya combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility in Uzbekistan, the company said on Thursday.

The partnership was formalised in a virtual signing ceremony attended by Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman and ZHU Jun, Chairwoman of Silk Road Fund, the company said.

As per the terms of the agreement, ACWA Power will continue to be the majority shareholder in the project, holding 51% stake in the facility. The Silk Road Fund, which is China’s sovereign investment body that implements the Belt and Road Initiative, will now own 49% of the Sirdarya facility. The share purchase agreement is expected to close by Q4 2022.

Uzbekistan’s JSC National Grid will function as the sole off taker of the project for a period of 25 years, ACWA Power said in a statement. Once completed in early 2024, the project will account for 8% of the country’s total power capacity and meet 15% of the country’s electricity demand across industry and households.

“As ACWA Power continues to expand globally, our mission to provide reliable, responsible, and affordable power and water cannot be achieved alone,” Paddy Padmanathan, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ACWA Power, said in a statement.

“Under our successful public-private partnership model, the support of global investors like Silk Road Fund is critical in ensuring the development of advanced energy infrastructure that benefits both nations and communities, and enables robust socio-economic progress,” he added.

“We truly appreciate Silk Road Fund’s confidence in our capabilities and look forward to working with them on the benchmarking Sirdarya project in Uzbekistan and jointly creating a cleaner, greener future for all,” he said.

The Sirdarya facility is ACWA Power and Silk Road Fund’s first strategic partnership in Uzbekistan and Central Asia. On top of such, ACWA Power has three additional projects in Uzbekistan, chiefly in wind energy, whereas Silk Road Fund has invested in the Republic’s culture, tourism, oil and gas sectors.

“The Sirdarya project symbolizes the cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative among China, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. Silk Road Fund will partner with ACWA Power to bring cleaner power in a more efficient way to local people,” said ZHU Jun, Chairwoman of Silk Road Fund.

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