Saudi Arabia’s PIF increases stake in ACWA Power

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The Sakkara solar farm in Saudi Arabia, built by ACWA Power. Image: ACWA Power.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has raised its shareholding in renewable energy developer ACWA Power.

The sovereign wealth fund has taken its stake from 33.36% to 50% to ensure the Riyadh-based power company plays “an integral role” in developing the state-owned wealth fund’s renewable energy interests, it said.

In a statement, the PIF said the increased stake would help to drive and diversify economic growth in Saudi Arabia.

The deal also comes several months after China’s Silk Road Fund completed the acquisition of a minority 49% stake in ACWA’s renewables arm, ACWA Power RenewCo.

ACWA currently has 58 power facilities in operation or under construction, with operational capacity of around 37.7GW of power. Around three quarters (74%) of ACWA’s assets under construction are dedicated to low carbon technology.

The two entities have worked together since 2013, when a subsidiary of PIF, Sanabil Direct Investments Company, bought a minority stake in ACWA. PIF made a direct investment in the group five years later.

Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA, called the investment a “vote of confidence” in the group’s ability to expand its operations “without compromising environmental stewardship.”

“It is with much pleasure that we announce the closure of this key transaction for the mutual benefit of the Company, its shareholders and the Kingdom as a whole,” he said.

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