The Sakkara solar farm in Saudi Arabia, completed by ACWA Power. Image: ACWA Power.
Saudi Arabian developer ACWA Power has set its sights on an accelerated growth trajectory after China’s Silk Road Fund completed the purchase of a minority stake in the firm’s renewables arm.
The deal, first announced last summer, will see the Chinese state fund take on a 49% stake in – and become a strategic partner of – ACWA Power RenewCo, which owns and operates nearly 1.7GW of CSP, solar PV and wind across the Middle East and Africa.
ACWA confirmed over the weekend that the deal had now completed, allowing the company to capitalise on the “rapidly growing potential” for renewables across emerging markets.
Paddy Padmanathan, chief executive officer at ACWA Power, said that the partnership with Silk Road Fund is testament to the “robust relations” between Saudi Arabia and China, and will allow it to “enhance” the solar developer’s ambitious growth plans across numerous markets.
“Having the Silk Road Fund as a partner is a strategic step for us in supporting the economic transformation envisioned by the Belt and Road initiative as well as Saudi Arabia’s forward-looking Vision 2030.
“This partnership reaffirms ACWA Power’s strong commitment to contributing to the green development of the regions with its reliable financial stability, cementing the company’s position as an attractive investment partner to stakeholders, locally and globally,” Rajit Nanda, CIO at ACWA Power, added.
China’s Belt and Road initiative constitutes a move from the Chinese government to spearhead infrastructure development and investments in key strategic markets, spanning India, east Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The Silk Road Fund, which has US$40 billion of capital to deploy into energy and transport projects, forms an important cornerstone of that initiative.
ACWA and the Silk Road Fund collaborated to win a tender for phase four of the 5GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in Dubai, which incorporates both hybrid CSP and solar PV capacities.
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