ACWA Power, China’s Silk Road Fund to co-invest in Sirdarya project in Uzbekistan

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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ACWA Power
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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 has signed a share purchase agreement for the 1.5 GW Sirdarya combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility in Uzbekistan.

The partnership was formalized in a virtual signing ceremony attended by Mr. Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman and Ms. ZHU Jun, Chairwoman of Silk Road Fund.

Under the agreement, ACWA Power will continue to be the majority shareholder in the project, holding a 51 percent 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 percent of the Sirdarya facility. The share purchase agreement is expected to close by Q4 2022.

Paddy Padmanathan
Paddy Padmanathan
Vice Chairman & CEO
ACWA Power

“As ACWA Power continues to expand globally, our mission to provide reliable, responsible, and affordable power and water cannot be achieved alone. Under our successful public-private partnership model, the support of global investors like the 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. 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.”

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

“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 Ms. Jun.

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.

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