World Bank Group Member IFC is set to invest up to $100 million in ACWA Power in a move to increase power generation from from renewable sources and meet growing energy demand throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the southern cone of Africa.
IThe investment will support ACWA Power’s plans to expand into emerging markets and seek Greenfield power projects, including thermal and renewable energy projects, within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries.
Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power in a statement said, “We are committed to delivering electricity at the lowest possible price to support the social and economic development of emerging economies in MENA. In particular, we hope to champion renewable energy in MENA and are excited by the possibilities that this partnership brings.”
IFC has financed nearly 2,000 megawatts of wind power and more than 650 megawatts of solar power in countries including China, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Jordan, South Africa, Chile and Mexico. Projects funded include many first-mover investors helping to develop viable new markets and establish a track record for others.
This is not the first time IFC is working with ACWA. IFC in 2011 financed ACWA Power’s expansion into Jordan. IFC is also considering investing with ACWA Power in the 160 megawatt Noor 1 project, in Ouarzazate, Morocco, which is the largest concentrated solar power project in the developing world.
“This partnership will help increase power generation capacity, which will help to meet the increasing demand in emerging markets, especially in MENA, said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “ACWA Power’s success in emerging markets should set a strong example to encourage further cross-border foreign direct investments, especially from Gulf countries, to emerging countries within the region and beyond.
ACWA Power has added over 15,000 MW of power generation capacity in the last decade and is one of the world’s largest owners and operators of sea water desalination plants, all in emerging markets.