Saudi energy company ACWA Power has announced the financial close for the 1500MW Sudair solar plant, a key project under the Public Investment Fund (PIF) renewable energy programme.
With an investment value of SAR 3.4 billion ($906 million), the solar PV project, which is located at Sudair Industrial City, is set to become one of the largest single-contracted solar PV plants in the world, according to ACWA Power.
Using bi-facial modules with tracking technology, the plant is set to deliver efficient performance and be capable of powering 185,000 homes, while offsetting nearly 2.9 million tons of emissions per year.
Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman: “The launch of Sudair Solar embodies a pivotal foundation for diversifying the energy mix and accelerating the energy transition in the Kingdom, as well as transferring ACWA Power’s international expertise, knowledge and capabilities in the global renewable sector back to the Kingdom.
“The project will encourage Saudi companies to participate in the implementation of renewable energy projects and support local talent in cultivating the skills and competencies needed in this thriving sector, which constitutes one of the Kingdom’s key pillars for sustainable socio-economic development.”
The financing for the project is secured through Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Riyad Bank, Korea Development Bank, Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation, and Standard Chartered Bank as senior lenders and Mandated Lead Arrangers. The equity bridge facilities are provided by Bank Al Bilad, Saudi British Bank and SMBC International Plc.
The EPC agreement for the construction of the Sudair solar PV plant was signed with Larsen & Toubro in April 2021. The first phase of the project is expected to begin producing electricity during the second half of 2022. The project is expected to contribute to the Saudi Green Initiative.
ACWA Power also announced that SAPCO, a fully owned company of Saudi oil company Aramco, has joined the consortium with ACWA Power and Badeel. This marks Aramco’s first participation in the renewable energy programme.
Mohammed Al Qahtani, Senior Vice President of Downstream at Aramco, said: “Our involvement in the Sudair solar PV plant reflects our efforts to advancing sustainable energy solutions, both within our own operations and the broader energy network.
“While hydrocarbons will continue to be a vital part of the energy mix for decades to come, renewables like solar have an important role to play in helping achieve the world’s climate goals. Sudair will support Saudi Arabia’s ambition to generate part of the nation’s power needs from renewable energy by 2030, and is one of several low-carbon energy options being deployed by Aramco.”