The Azerbaijani Ministry of Energy and ACWA Power held a groundbreaking ceremony for the 240 MW wind power plant with an investment value of SAR 1.125 billion (US$300 million), following the signing of power purchase, investment and transfer agreements according to an independent power generation project model. The ceremony was attended by His Excellency President Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Mr. Parviz Shahbazov, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Balababa Rzayev, President of “Azerishiq OJSC” and Mr. Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, along with senior executives.
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 percent of its energy through renewables. By Q4 2023, the project will contribute an estimated 3.7 percent of energy to Azerbaijan’s total national grid capacity, powering 300,000 households while offsetting 400,000 tonnes of emissions.
“We are pleased to see that private companies from outside Azerbaijan invest in our country. These investments leverage global expertise by sharing international best practices, supporting human capital development and enable knowledge transfer into the country. 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. 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,” said Parviz Shahbazov, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
As part of ACWA Power’s commitment to deliver socio-economic value to communities it operates in, the company devised a robust training programme dedicated to boosting knowledge transfer and arming local talent with the skillset needed to drive future clean energy projects in Azerbaijan. The project will localise the use of talents and utilise local contractors that adhere to world-class health and safety standards.
“Groundbreaking on the first and largest foreign investment in Azerbaijan’s renewable power sector is one of our most noteworthy accomplishments and a testament that we have succeeded despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic globally. Today’s momentous occasion confirms ACWA Power’s ability to transfer its leadership to global markets that are witnessing high growth as a result of their operational excellence and technical expertise. We are confident that our partnerships with reputable international investors in this pioneering project will ensure its implementation at an accelerated pace. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Energy in Azerbaijan for its confidence in ACWA Power’s capabilities to implement this project, which will pave the way for achieving the ambitious plan of the Azerbaijani government to reduce carbon footprint by 2030,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman.
“Beyond the project’s role in supporting the Azerbaijani government’s efforts to raise the share of renewable energy in the energy mix, we aim to further generate long-term value for the country by developing local content and talent through acquiring the skills and capabilities necessary to achieve the vision and objectives of the Azerbaijani government in the renewable energy sector,” he added.
The wind project is an important step in Azerbaijan’s energy diversification plans and will help meet the growing power demand in the country as it continues to invest in economic growth and sustainable development.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, ACWA Power also signed an MoU for an offshore wind project with the Ministry of Energy, highlighting its ongoing strategic partnership and commitment to developing the energy sector in Azerbaijan.
Image source: Courtesy of ACWA Power