Saudi company continues to invest in the development of renewable energy in Central Asia

Last week, ACWA Power, a leading Saudi and world-renowned developer, investor and operator of power generation, water desalination and renewable energy, announced the conclusion of a partnership agreement with the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan and the National Welfare Fund “Samruk-Kazyna”.

The company will implement a project in Kazakhstan for the construction of a wind power plant and batteries with a capacity of 1 GW in the Zhetisu region (Dzungarian Gate). Construction will start in 2025.

The ACWA Power enters the market of Kazakhstan with initial investments worth US$ 1.5 billion. The involvement of ACWA Power will be the largest investment by Saudi Arabia in the energy sector of Kazakhstan until today.

According to the company, aims to support national climate action, renewables integration, and sustainable development efforts through innovation and technology integration. It is intended to successfully decarbonise fossil fuel-based power generation following its scheduled completion in 2027.

The Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy which defines the course for long-term economic development is aimed at placing the nation among the top 30 global economies by 2050. Sustainability is a key priority, and the focus is to meet 50% of its energy requirements via alternative and green energy technologies by 2050. The country is fast tracking a number of clean energy initiatives to achieve set targets.

By the end of 2022, the volume of renewable energy generation in Kazakhstan amounted to 5.11 billion kWh or 4.53% of the total electricity production. In 2023, the government intends to increase renewable’s share to 5%. In 2023, 15 projects with a total capacity of 276 MW will be commissioned.

Also last week, with another project has been added to the portfolio of ACWA Power in Uzbekistan.

On 4 March 2023, Investment agreements were inked between ACWA Power and the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade of Uzbekistan for the construction of solar power plants with a total capacity of 1,000 MW in the Samarkand region, 400 MW in the Tashkent region and an autonomous battery with a capacity of 1,200 MW in the Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand regions.

The document was signed at the groundbreaking ceremony of a 400 MW solar power plant in the Tashkent region. In accordance with the agreements, the Saudi company ACWA Power will design, finance, construct and operate the power plant for 25 years.

The power plant will annually produce 900 million kWh of electricity. According to Uzbek news outlets, the solar plant will safe 257 million cubic meters of natural gas and prevent 360 thousand tons of harmful gases from being released into the atmosphere.

By 2030, Uzbekistan has set a goal 35% of its total electricity production to come from renewable sources. As a result, 15,000 MW of capacity will be put into operation, including 10,000 MW of solar power plants and 5,000 MW of wind power plants.

Along with the already established areas of collaboration between ACWA Power and Uzbekistan in solar and wind energy, the parties are looking into the prospects of constructing a “green” hydrogen plant in Uzbekistan.

Currently, ACWA Power is implementing 5 projects in Uzbekistan with a total cost of over US$ 4.4 billion and a design capacity of more than 4.1 GW. These are 4 wind farms with a capacity of 2,600 MW and 1 modern thermal power plant with a capacity of 1,500 MW.

The thermal power plant in the Syrdarya region will be commissioned this year.

The project on accumulator systems in Uzbekistan will be the largest storage system in the region, which will play an important role in the stabilization of the energy system and the development of renewable energy sources in the country, UzDaily writes.

When these projects are completed, they will be able to supply 1.2 million households with electricity while also preventing the emission of approximately 1.6 million tons of harmful gases per year.

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