Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia plan three major power projects that will boost the use of clean and renewable energy in the Central Asian country, Uzbekistan’s Energy Ministry said on January 25.
Following agreements signed in March 2020, cooperation between the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade, and Saudi company ACWA Power has led to three major milestones in the development of power projects to enable Uzbekistan’s ambitious energy transformation plan and increase energy capacity by 2500MW, the Uzbek ministry said in a press release.
The ground-breaking ceremony of the 1500MW Sirdarya CCGT plant, followed by the signing of two Power Purchase Agreements and Investment Agreements for two wind power plants located in Bukhara and Navoi, was conducted in the presence of Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov, Energy Minister Alisher Sultanov, as well as a Saudi Arabian delegation led by Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih and Saudi Ambassador to Uzbekistan Hisham Mishal Al- Suwailem. Other attendees included senior representatives from the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade, ACWA Power and Air Products.
The Saudi Investment Minister said these projects mark the start of a new chapter in the investment relationship between Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. “As the Minister of Investment for Saudi Arabia, it is particularly pleasing to see a homegrown Saudi company such as ACWA Power supporting Uzbekistan to deliver such a vital component of its infrastructure investment program, which is central to the country’s economic transformation. The Ministry of Investment for Saudi Arabia is proud to have played a leading role in facilitating this momentous agreement,” Al-Falih said.
For his part, Sultanov noted that enhancing Uzbekistan’s clean energy capacity involves many developmental and investment targets to be hit, over a period of time. “By executing our plans efficiently, we will only attract more investment to Uzbekistan, and improve our nation’s energy status. The Ministry extends its deep thanks to ACWA Power and the wider Saudi delegation for making this triumph happen. We look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship,” he said.
ACWA Power will be delivering these three projects utilising its technical knowledge, expertise, and experience, to contribute directly to meeting Uzbekistan’s growing yearly electricity demand, which is expected to reach 110 billion kWh by 2030. The company’s contribution is also aligned with Uzbekistan’s national mandate to increase energy efficiency, introduce energy-saving technologies, and develop and implement renewable energy sources, under its recent energy sector reforms.
ACWA Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said his company will help Uzbekistan’s decarbonisation efforts and energy transformation. “Through the addition of new renewable energy capacity, exploration of innovative technologies and the advancement of cleaner, more efficient and cost-competitive gas power, ACWA Power is expanding its presence in Uzbekistan, a high growth market, leveraging our global expertise and technical know-how to create long-term and sustainable value for the country’s local communities.”
ACWA Power is also committed to training and upskilling 1000 local employees in Uzbekistan during the project’s construction and operation phases, generating long-term, socio-economic value through knowledge sharing and job creation.