RIYADH: ACWA Power, the utility developer backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), on Monday announced it had started construction on South Africa’s largest ever renewable energy project.
The Redstone concentrated solar power (CSP) plant begun construction after it raised 11.6 billion rand ($828 million) from a range of South African and international banks. Once complete, the Redstone plant will power 200,000 households. It is due to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Paddy Padmanathan, president and chief executive officer of ACWA Power, said in a press statement: “Redstone CSP adds another superlative to our budding record in South Africa, being the largest renewable energy investment to date. As grid links are improved, the ingenuity of the private sector together with the great support of experienced finance partners has the potential to spark lasting impact for local communities and address the threats of climate change.”
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the PIF, in November last year increased its stake in ACWA Power to 50 percent from 33.6 percent. “We believe that ACWA Power will play a significant role in both driving and diversifying economic growth in the future — while also providing enduring commercial return for the people of the kingdom,” the fund said in a statement at the time.
Riyadh-headquartered ACWA Power in January also signed a $125 million financing deal with the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP). The five-year Shariah-compliant corporate facility will be used by ACWA Power to develop its pipeline of future projects.