ACWA Power Calls for Cooperation to Tackle Climate Change

by News Agencies



Saudi-listed ACWA Power, the world’s largest private water desalination company, leader in energy transition, and first mover into green hydrogen, has reiterated the need for strong collaboration between public and private sector players to speed up the transition to clean energy and water generation at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) eighth Annual Meeting in Sharm El-Shaikh, Egypt.

Held under the patronage and presence of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the event brought together members, partners, business leaders, civil society organizations, and industry experts to discuss investments aligned with sustainable economic growth. ACWA Power was represented at the event by Abdulhameed Al Muhaidib, Chief Financial Officer, and Sarah Al Harthey, Executive Manager of Business Development.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the event titled ‘Energy Transition in the Middle East – Challenges and Opportunities,’ Al Muhaidib said that the robust approach to PPPs taken by governments in the Middle East has enabled the rapid scaling up of low-carbon power generation and efficient water desalination projects.

“Visible long-term roadmap and robust policy mechanisms have helped create bankable projects with solid contractual frameworks and distributed risk among multiple stakeholders, giving private sector players, such as ourselves, the confidence to actively develop, invest in, and support the public sector’s energy mix targets,” said Al Muhaidib. “Today, we can pursue our business model of developing, investing in, and operating projects while continually assessing how we can optimize financial structures to deliver the most competitive tariffs to millions of people worldwide.”

Al Muhaidib highlighted how the region is one of the fastest growing when it comes to sustainable energy projects, discussing how the appetite for green projects has pushed ACWA Power to raise the bar with competitive tariff rates on its projects. For instance, ACWA Power has reduced tariff rates on its solar PV projects by over 80% in just eight years.

“We expect this appetite to ramp up even further in the coming years as governments realize the additional economic benefits of changing their energy mix beyond the climate and environmental ones,” he added.

During the session, Al Muhaidib also discussed the role of projects such as the US$8.5 billion NEOM Green Hydrogen Project in accelerating energy transition and how collaboration with government entities and off-takers is vital in enabling such developments.

“Another area for consideration is water desalination, a sector that ACWA Power is deeply committed to,” said Al Muhaidib. “It is part of our strategic mission to provide water affordably and sustainably, which has seen us reduce the energy consumption per cubic meter of water by 87% in the past decade.”

ACWA Power has also delivered some of the lowest water tariffs globally, most recently submitting the most insufficient water levelised tariff rate in the world for the Hassyan Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) facility in Dubai.

In parallel, the event saw Sarah Al Harthey participate in a flagship seminar titled ‘Raising the Ambition to Meet the Climate Challenge: Mobilisation of Resources for Climate Finance,’ where she discussed the devastating impacts of climate change on the Global South and how it is essential to mobilize resources to implement projects that enable energy transition.

“As a youth, we want to see ambition that goes beyond pledges and words,” said Al Hartley. “There is a need for greater capital democratization when allocating resources to fight climate change. This is where multilateral development banks have a crucial role to play, championing the mobilization of climate finance and challenging conventional financing structures.”

Over the coming months, ACWA Power will continue to pursue new opportunities and partnerships that align with its mission of delivering power and water in an affordable and accessible manner with the least possible impact on the environment.

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