The Azerbaijani Ministry of Energy and ACWA Power held a groundbreaking ceremony on January 14 for the 240 MW wind power plant with an investment value of $300 million, following the signing of power purchase, investment and transfer agreements according to an independent power generation project model, ACWA Power said.
Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud, ACWA Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, Azerishiq OJSC President Balababa Rzayev attended the event.
According to ACWA Power, the project represents the first and largest foreign investment made in Azerbaijan’s renewable energy sector to date and contributes to the country’s target to generate 30% of its energy through renewables. By the fourth quarter of 2023, the project will contribute an estimated 3.7% of energy to Azerbaijan’s total national grid capacity, powering 300,000 households while offsetting 400,000 tonnes of emissions.
“The wind project reflects the strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Azerbaijan in various fields, especially the energy sector,” Al Saud said. “In addition to the two countries’ long-term diplomatic and economic relations, cooperation between them has been strengthened in recent years as Azerbaijan became a member of OPEC+, affirming the depth of the relationship especially in light of the (Covid-19) pandemic where Azerbaijan, along with the other participants in the agreement, played a vital role in reinforcing the stability and balance of global oil markets amid the crisis,” the Saudi Energy Minister added.
He added that the project, whose agreements were signed at the end of 2020, is a building block in the countries’ bilateral relations, and reflects the commitment of KSA and Azerbaijan to enhance the utilisation of numerous energy fields, especially renewable energy. His Highness expressed his confidence in ACWA Power’s ability, one of the world’s leading companies in the clean energy field, to fortify the cooperation between the Kingdom and Azerbaijan, and support the Azerbaijani government’s efforts to meet its national power needs at the highest global standards and competitive costs.
His Azeri counterpart, Shahbazov, said these investments leverage global expertise by sharing international best practice, support human capital development and enable knowledge transfer into Azerbaijan. “The integration of local suppliers and subcontractors in the development of this remarkable project will elevate national competency in green projects and equip our workforce with the expertise needed to compete with international players,” he said, adding, “ACWA Power is also committed to the adoption of high standards for health, safety, security and environment, which results in optimised value creation at every step of the business cycle”.