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.


Lebanon central bank reassures foreign investors about deposits

Updated 25 January 2020

Lebanon central bank reassures foreign investors about deposits

  • Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor asked if there was any risk to dollar deposits
  • The heavily indebted country’s crisis has shaken confidence in banks

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s central bank said on Saturday there would be no “haircut” on deposits at banks due to the country’s financial crisis, responding to concerns voiced by a UAE businessman about risks to foreign investments there.

Emirati Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, founder of the Al-Habtoor Group that has two hotels in Beirut, posted a video of himself on his official Twitter account asking Lebanon’s central bank governor if there was any risk to dollar deposits of foreign investors and whether there could be any such haircut.

“The declared policy of the Central Bank of Lebanon is not to bankrupt any bank thus preserving the depositors. Also the law in Lebanon doesn’t allow haircut,” the Banque Du Liban (BDL) said in a Twitter post addressed to Al-Habtoor, from Governor Riad Salameh.

“BDL is providing the liquidity needed by banks in both Lebanese pound and dollars, but under one condition that the dollars lent by BDL won’t be transferred abroad.”

“All funds received by Lebanese banks from abroad after November 17th are free to be transferred out,” it added on its official Twitter account.

The heavily indebted country’s crisis has shaken confidence in banks and raised concerns over its ability to repay one of the world’s highest levels of public debt.

Seeking to prevent capital flight as hard currency inflows slowed and anti-government protests erupted, banks have been imposing informal controls on access to cash and transfers abroad since last October.

A new government was formed this week, and its main task is to tackle the dire financial crisis that has seen the Lebanese pound weaken against the dollar.

Al-Habtoor had asked Salameh for clarity for Arab investors concerned about the crisis and those thinking of transferring funds to Lebanon to try to “help the brotherly Lebanese.”