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Saudi Arabia Secures Financing For $2.4 Billion Solar Project

Several Saudi firms, including oil giant Aramco and a company owned by the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, announced on Sunday the financial close of a major solar project in Saudi Arabia worth $2.37 billion in investment, the Saudi Press Agency reported.  

Saudi Aramco Power Company (SAPCO), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the world’s largest oil firm, Aramco, as well as Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and the Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), wholly-owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), are advancing the Al Shuaibah 1 and Al Shuaibah 2 solar PV projects, which are expected to generate more than 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of clean electricity. Al Shuaibah PV 1 and Al Shuaibah PV 2 will have a capacity of 600 MW and 2,031 MW respectively, and will be capable of powering around 450,000 Saudi households.

With total investment estimated at $2.37 billion, the plant is expected to start commercial operations in 2025.

“Securing financing for this groundbreaking project marks a significant step towards achieving Saudi Arabia’s clean energy goals, in alignment with the National Renewable Energy Program, which aims to generate 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030,” Marco Arcelli, chief executive at ACWA Power, said.

Mohammed Al Qahtani, President of Downstream at Aramco, commented,

“Our participation in the Al Shuaibah PV 1 and Al Shuaibah PV 2 projects aligns with our efforts to reduce Aramco’s carbon footprint and create a more sustainable future.”

“While oil and gas will play a major role to meet the energy demand of today and tomorrow, renewables will increasingly play a part in the energy transition to address the climate change challenges,” Al Qahtani added.

Saudi Arabia will spend some $270 billion (1 trillion riyals) on low-carbon energy projects by 2030, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said earlier this year, adding the Kingdom would also invest in modernizing its grid.

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In wind and solar, Saudi Arabia has perhaps one of the most ambitious capacity-building targets in the world. In 2030, the Kingdom aims to have some 58 GW of wind and solar energy capacity, which would compare with less than 1 GW currently.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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