Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia's leading power generation company, Acwa Power, have signed three major energy agreements, worth a total of $12 billion, including building the largest single onshore wind project in the world.
The wind project is expected to achieve financial close by the end of 2023 and be fully commissioned by Q1 2026. When complete, it will contribute 19% to Uzbekistan's overall renewable energy goals. It will also power 1.65 million households and offset 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
The agreements, which will deepen Saudi Arabia's cooperation in Uzbekistan's energy sector, were signed during the state visit to Saudi Arabia, of Uzbekistan's President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, which took place on August 18, Uzbekistan's Ministry of Energy announced.
The three agreements comprise a Heads of Terms agreement to develop a 1.5GW wind farm in the Karakalpakstan region of Uzbekistan - which will be largest single onshore wind project in the world.
The second deal plans investment in green hydrogen, in Uzbekistan, in collaboration with New York Stock Exchange-listed, Air Products - a global leader in industrial gases.
The third one envisages the creation of a $10 billion Investment Cooperation Agreement (ICA) to jointly develop gas-to-power, renewable energy, and green hydrogen projects in Uzbekistan.
Azim Akhmedkhodjaev, First Deputy Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan, said: "We are delighted to announce today's three agreements with Saudi Arabia and Acwa Power, which shows the scale of Uzbekistan's renewable energy ambition is being matched by our delivery on our promises.
"Developing the largest onshore wind project in the world, and agreeing a separate $10 billion Investment Cooperation Agreement, shows how seriously we take our overall energy security, and our clean energy capacity. They are true global milestones which Uzbekistan's economy and citizens will directly benefit from.
"We have outstanding partners in Acwa Power, which is already implementing four energy projects in Uzbekistan, meaning these new ventures are based on a strong foundation of partnership and trust. I would like to thank our President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, for his vision and drive to ensure these agreements were expedited, and also to Acwa Power and Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Energy, for their continued best-in-class execution and partnership with Uzbekistan."
Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of Acwa Power, commented: "Uzbekistan is at the forefront of energy transition in central Asia, and these key agreements with the country's Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade and Ministry of Energy, make Uzbekistan Acwa Power's second largest country for overall investment. We are proud to play a vital role in supporting the nation's decarbonisation efforts, stemming from the strong international cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan under their visionary leadership.
"I express my deepest gratitude to Mirziyoyev and our partners in the Uzbek Ministries of Energy and Investment and Foreign Trade for their trust and commitment in achieving this important milestone. I would like to also thank Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi Minister of Energy, for the tremendous guidance and support in enabling these truly fruitful partnerships."
The Heads of Terms agreement for the 1.5GW Karakalpakstan wind project, located in north-western Uzbekistan, was signed between Acwa Power and Uzbekistan's Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Investment & Foreign Trade is a foundation for a Power Purchase Agreement and an Investment Agreement, to be initiated for the facility.
Acknowledging the importance of green hydrogen generation to the vision of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan's Ministry of Energy, Acwa Power, and Air Products are also planning investment in this area. This agreement follows an MoU signed during the visit of a Saudi Arabian delegation to Uzbekistan in January 2021.
Developing green projects
The ICA was signed between Uzbekistan's Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade, and Acwa Power. All parties will collaborate to develop projects in gas-to-power, wind, hydroelectric and green hydrogen projects valued at $10 billion over a five-year period, starting in 2023. The partnership will also encompass human capital building and joint R&D.
The initiatives will materially contribute to Uzbekistan's long-term strategy to diversify its energy mix, as it targets 8 GW and 12 GW of solar and wind capacity by 2026 and 2030, respectively.-- TradeArabia News Service