Acwa Power wins bid on Ethiopian so­lar schemes

The National - News - - BUSINESS - JEN­NIFER GNANA

from 4,300MW at present. “Our en­trance into Ethiopia is yet an­other at­tes­ta­tion of our im­pres­sive track record to win bids at low tar­iffs, and trans­form the en­ergy sec­tors of grow­ing economies,” said Acwa Power chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer Ra­jit Nanda.

The new plants will be lo­cated in Dicheto, in the Afar re­gion, and at Gad in the So­mali ter­ri­tory of the coun­try. The planned so­lar schemes are ex­pected to power 750,000 homes and off­set 320,000 tonnes of car­bon diox­ide an­nu­ally.

Acwa Power, in which Saudi Ara­bia’s sov­er­eign Pub­lic In­vest­ment Fund has a 25 per cent stake, is one of the king­dom’s lead­ing de­vel­op­ers of con­ven­tional and re­new­able power projects.

The com­pany, which is con­struct­ing the king­dom’s first util­ity scale so­lar power project, a 300MW scheme in Sakaka, is bid­ding on $5bn worth of projects for the re­main­der of the year.

The com­pany is also aim­ing to reach fi­nan­cial close on an $11.5bn gasi­fi­ca­tion project in Saudi Ara­bia. Saudi Ara­bia’s Acwa Power has won bids to de­velop two so­lar schemes in Ethiopia with a to­tal ca­pac­ity of 250 megawatts, mark­ing its en­try in the African coun­try.

The Riyadh-based util­ity de­vel­oper se­cured two, 125megawat­t projects in the first round of Ethiopia’s so­lar pro­gramme, or­gan­ised un­der a new pub­lic-private part­ner­ship law.

State pro­ducer Ethiopia Elec­tric Power and Acwa Power signed a let­ter of in­tent for the projects on Oc­to­ber 15. They are set to sign a long-term power pur­chase agree­ment by the end of the year for the plants at a tar­iff of 2.52 US cents per kilo­watt hour over 20 years. The Saudi com­pany was cho­sen from a list of 12 bid­ders.

The schemes will plug Ethiopia’s power short­falls as well as help to di­ver­sify its en­ergy mix. The East African state is cur­rently work­ing to raise power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity to 17,300MW by 2020

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