Saudi-based ACWA Power to build largest wind farm in Central Asia

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Saudi Arabia-based power plant developer ACWA Power has signed an implementation agreement with the Ministry of Investments & Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan for the development, construction, and operation of a 1500 megawatt (MW) wind power project in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

The project will be the largest wind farm in Central Asia and one of the largest in the world once it is completed.

The agreement was signed on behalf of ACWA Power by Mr. Ayad AlAmri, Executive General Manager of Business Development, and on behalf of the Uzbekistani side by Mr. Sherzod Khodjaev, Deputy Minister at the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy, and Mr. Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade.

The implementation, development, construction, and operation of the largest wind farm in Central Asia by a Saudi company demonstrates the Kingdom’s leadership in the energy sector and its ability to grow the human and technical potential for Saudi companies, especially in the renewables sector.

In line with recent strategic reforms, the project aims to support the Uzbek government’s efforts to diversify the country’s energy mix and increase renewable energy potential. The announcement comes after the signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and Investment Agreements for two wind power projects in Bukhara and Navoi, which were completed earlier this year and have a total capacity of 1000 MW.

ACWA Power is also building a 1500 MW high-efficiency gas-fired power plant in Sirdarya, Uzbekistan.

Mr. Sardor Umurzakov, Uzbekistan’s Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade remarked that “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 percent by 2030.”

The project is expected to cater to the power needs of about 4 million households and offset about 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, directly contributing to the government’s goal of generating 30 percent of Uzbekistan’s power capacity from renewable sources by 2030, to meet the country’s rising yearly electricity demand efficiently and sustainably.

Uzbekistan Energy Minister Mr. Alisher Sultanov pointed out that “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 percent of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.”

Related: Saudi ACWA Power secures $114mn funding for Solar Project in Egypt