Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power to expand into manufacturing of solar panels

ACWA Power’s plan has multiple sweet points given that it is aligned with Riyadh’s goal to diversify its economy and wean its economy away from just oil exports.

In a development that places the development of power and water plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s bid to develop its renewable power industry, Riyadh-based ACWA Power’s chief executive stated, it plans on expanding into the solar panel manufacturing industry.

Incidentally, ACWA Power is partly owned by Saudi’s Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

In an interview, ACWA Power CEO Paddy Padmanathan stated, it is in talks with PIF and Japan’s SoftBank for a $200 billion solar-power generation project where it is to become a manufacturer of solar panels.

In 2018, Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s Chief Executive had disclosed a plan to create the world’s largest solar power project in Saudi Arabia, a project which has the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.

Apart from creating thousands of jobs as well as develop the renewable energy industry in the kingdom, it also aligns itself with Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification plans laid out in its Vision 2030.

“ACWA, being a Saudi company, will be working with PIF and Softbank […] we’re in discussions to become a solar panel manufacturer,” said Padmanathan.

He went on to add, ACWA Power plans on doubling its power production capacity by 2025 as well as expand its operations to 25 markets, up from its current 12.

“We expect renewables to be a significant part of that growth,” said Padmanathan.

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