ACWA eyes supporting solar panel manufacturing in KSA

Riyadh-based ACWA Power is partly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Above, an ACWA windmill in Jbel Sendouq, on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco. (Reuters)
Updated 14 January 2019

ACWA eyes supporting solar panel manufacturing in KSA

  • ACWA Power plans to double power production capacity by 2025 and expand operations to 25 markets
  • ACWA does not plan to become a manufacturer of solar panels

ABU DHABI: ACWA Power is considering supporting the manufacturing of solar panels in KSA, its CEO said, as the power and water plants developer seeks to facilitate Saudi Arabia’s plans to develop its renewable power industry.
Riyadh-based ACWA Power, partly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), does not plan to become a manufacturer of solar panels, but is “open to the idea of supporting and enabling the right environment in the Kingdom to welcome in manufacturers,” a spokesman told Reuters.

 

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son announced in March last year a plan for the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia, a project expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.
The project is set to create thousands of jobs and develop a manufacturing industry in line with Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification plans laid out in its Vision 2030.
ACWA Power plans to double its power production capacity by 2025 and to expand its operations to 25 markets from the current 12. “We expect renewables to be a significant part of that growth,” ACWA’s CEO, Paddy Padmanathan said.
ACWA mandated banks last year to sell a 30 percent stake through an initial public offering (IPO). Sources told Reuters at the time that JPMorgan, Citigroup, Natixis and Riyad Capital had been appointed to advise on that process.
Padmanathan said on Monday that the IPO was postponed as the company had a lot of preparatory work to do and its balance sheet had to be “positioned in the right way,” but added that the company is still committed to a listing, and the banks that were mandated have retained their role.

FASTFACTS

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March 2018 signed a memorandum of understanding with SoftBank to establish the largest solar power plant in the world. The agreement laid out plans to produce 200 gigawatts in Saudi Arabia by 2030 — enough to power 140 million homes, according to reports.


Time is running out for Brexit trade deal, UK minister says

Updated 42 min 41 sec ago

Time is running out for Brexit trade deal, UK minister says

  • Both sides are demanding concessions from the other on fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes
  • George Eustice: We really are now running out of time

LONDON: Britain and the European Union are running out of time to clinch a Brexit trade deal but if good progress is made this week then the talks could be extended, Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Monday.
With just over four weeks left until the United Kingdom finally exits the EU’s orbit on Dec. 31, both sides are demanding concessions from the other on fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes.
“We really are now running out of time, this is the crucial week, we need to get a breakthrough,” Eustice told Sky.
“I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there it’s always possible to extend those negotiations,” he said.
Britain formally left the EU on Jan. 31 but has been in a transition period since then under which rules on trade, travel and business remain unchanged. From the start of 2021 it will be treated by Brussels as a third country.
Talks between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and British chief negotiator David Frost continued through Sunday. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was a very significant week for Brexit.
“David Frost had made clear that we’re continuing the negotiations because we still think there is a prospect that we can get an agreement and while there is we should persevere with those,” Eustice said.