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ACWA Power suspends fossil fuel investments as focus shifts to renewables

JEDDAH: ACWA Power is steadily working towards achieving the Kingdom’s mission to achieve net zero carbon by 2060, as the company has decided not to invest in oil or coal-fired power plants in the future.

“When we did the IPO, we had one coal-fired power plant and were developing another, (but) we stopped that and reserved the cost of that development,” said Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of ACWA Power. , to Arab News.

The company has sold one of its coal plants and is now working on converting the other to a gas plant, he added, on the sidelines of the Innovations Days, held on March 23 at KAUST .

Saudi Arabia has set a clear target to generate 50% of its total energy supply by 2030 from renewable energy sources, the other half from natural gas, as announced by its ministry Energy.

ACWA Shuqaiq Water and Power Plant

ACWA Power plans to continue investing in gas-fired power plants; however, as the world needs more of this energy source, Padmanathan said his investments will focus on renewable energy.

“We have committed that by 2030, the carbon intensity of our portfolio will be half what it was in 2020,” he said.

Padmanathan said the world is committed to reaching net zero by 2050, but the question of how has only recently come up.

“Only now is the world starting to figure out how to phase it,” he added.

KAUST partnership

ACWA Power and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, KAUST, are currently hosting Innovation Days 2022, from March 23-24, 2022.

In 2019, the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for the launch of the KAUST-ACWA Center of Excellence for Desalination and Solar Energy.

KAUST invents in areas that can actually be put into practice, while ACWA Power, as operators, can execute those practices in the field. “It’s a powerful partnership between theory and practice,” he said.

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Felix J. Dixon