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IFC invests $100mn in ACWA Power

Private sector arm of the World Bank takes a stake in Saudi firm.

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Paddy Padmanathan
Paddy Padmanathan

Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power has received a $100mn cash injection from the private sector branch of the World Bank.

International Financial Corporation (IFC), which is already a lender and co-investor with ACWA in several major projects, has signed up to purchase newly issued shares in the company.

ACWA is involved in power and water projects in nine emerging economies and earlier this month announced its entry into the Southeast Asian market via an investment in a 1,200MW project in Vietnam.

Mohammad A. Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said: “Being one of the few companies globally that added over 15,000 MW of power generation capacity in the last decade, and one of the world’s largest owners and operators of sea water desalination plants, all in emerging market, we are proud of this achievement which in turn attracted the interest of IFC who have committed their largest equity investment in not only Saudi Arabia but also in the MENA region through this shareholding in ACWA Power”

Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power stated: “We are excited by the possibilities that this partnership brings, especially having understood each other through IFC being a co-investor and lender on several assets in ACWA Power’s portfolio.

“IFC and ACWA Power are aligned in ACWA Power’s commitment to deliver electricity and/or desalinated water at the lowest possible price to support the social and economic development of the emerging economies that ACWA Power has elected to participate in Middle East, the Levant, Africa and South East Asia, in general, and to lead the broadening of fuel mix to include renewable energy in the MENA region and to focus on increasing the efficiency of fuel utilization, in particular.”

Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “This partnership will help increase power generation capacity, which will help to meet the increasing demand in emerging markets, especially in MENA.

“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.”

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