Acwa Power, a leading Saudi developer of power generation and desalinated water plants in 13 countries, has signed an implementation agreement with Uzbekistan for the development, construction and operation of a 1500 MW wind power project in the country's Karakalpakstan region.
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.
Once operational, the project will become the largest wind farm in the Central Asian region, and one of the largest in the world.
The deal was signed by Ayad AlAmri, Acwa Power's Executive General Manager of Business Development, and Sherzod Khodjaev, Deputy Minister at the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy, and Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade, at a special ceremony in Riyadh 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.
Acwa Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan and Director of local investment at the Public Investment Fund Yazeed Al Humaid attended the signing ceremony along with other officials.
The deal 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.
Besides this, Acwa Power has another ongoing project in the country - the 1500MW high efficiency gas fired power plant in Sirdarya.
Lauding the upcoming project, Abunayyan said: "It 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 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, he added.
On the strategic tieup, Umurzakov 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% by 2030."
The project is expected to cater to the power needs of 4 million households and offset 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Sultanov said: "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."
"Acwa Power's project will be a major contributor to our plan to generate 25% of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030," he added.-TradeArabia News Service