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ACWA Power admits interest in 1MDB assets

But Saudi-based firm denies being shortlisted or being invited to make a final bid.

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Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of ACWA Power
Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of ACWA Power

ACWA Power has confirmed its interest in participating in a “transparent process” to acquire power assets being put up for sale by a Malaysian company, but said it has made no final bid and has not been shortlisted by the owner as suggested by some media reports.

The Saudi Arabia-based power project developer was linked with a move for the assets owned by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which owns or has shares in power projects in Egypt, the UAE and Bangladesh. 1MDB is said to want to divest the assets to reduce its debt load.

“A recent media report stated that 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB) had shortlisted bidders, including ACWA Power, to submit final offers for 1MDB’s power plants,” the company said in a statement.

“While ACWA Power is interested in participating in a transparent process for this transaction, ACWA Power confirms that it was not invited by 1MDB to make any final offer nor, to the best of its knowledge, is on a shortlist of bidders for the same.”

Estimates suggest the assets in question could fetch as much as $1.8bn. Nebras Power of Qatar was also linked with a bid.

ACWA Power is a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants currently with presence in 12 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Southern Africa and South East Asia regions.

ACWA Power’s portfolio, with an investment value in excess of USD 26 billion, can generate 16.9 GW of power and produce 2.5 million m3 /day of desalinated water to be delivered on a bulk basis to state utilities and industrial majors on long term off-take contracts under Public-Private-Partnership, Concession and Utility Services Outsourcing models.

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