ACWA Power announces China’s Silk Road Fund as co-investor in US$1 billion 1.5 GW Sirdarya project in Uzbekistan

  • ACWA Power owns 51% of the1.5 GW Sirdarya combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility, with Silk Road Fund obtaining a 49% stake
  • Share purchase agreement first of its kind between parties in Uzbekistan and Central Asia
  • Once operational in 2024, Sirdarya facility will be responsible for 15% of power demand and 8% of installed power capacity in Uzbekistan

Riyadh, KSA: 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 signed a share purchase agreement for the 1.5 GW Sirdarya combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility in Uzbekistan. 

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

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

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% of the country’s total power capacity and meet 15% of the country’s electricity demand across industry and households. 

“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 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.” said Paddy Padmanathan, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ACWA Power. “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.”

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. 

“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 ZHU Jun, Chairwoman of Silk Road Fund.

Located in Shirin, southern Uzbekistan, the project will support the Republic of Uzbekistan in providing cost-effective and energy efficient power solutions for the residing communities and displace 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

About ACWA Power

ACWA Power (TADAWUL:2082) is a developer, investor and operator of power generation, desalinated water and green hydrogen production plants. Registered and established in 2004 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; ACWA Power employs over 3,900 people and is currently present in 13   countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. ACWA Power’s portfolio comprises 67  projects in operation, advanced development, or construction with an investment value of SAR 249.3 billion (USD 66.5), with capacity to generate 42.7 GW of power and produce 6.2 million m3/day of desalinated water per day, delivered on a bulk basis to address the needs of state utilities and industries on long term, off-taker contracts under utility services outsourcing and Public-Private-Partnership models.

ACWA Power’s mission is to deliver electricity and desalinated water reliably and responsibly at a low cost, thereby contributing effectively to the sustainable, social and economic development of communities.