ACWA Power, the utility developer backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), is planning to invest $16 billion in new projects around the world in 2021, ahead of plans for an initial public offering (IPO).
Early last year, CEO Paddy Padmanathan said the company planned to invest $10 billion in new projects in 2020. In light of the restrictions put in place by global governments as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some of these plans took longer to materialize.
“The only challenge that we had on the new growth business is that some of the transactions where we were successful have taken anywhere between three to six months more in coming to what I would call the end of the development phase, which is the financial close and start of the construction,” Rajit Nanda, ACWA’s chief portfolio management and interim chief investment officer, told Arab News.
The investment officer said ACWA Power’s main geographical focus is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with Saudi Arabia at the core of it, but it is also looking at opportunities in Africa and at markets in Central Asia and parts of Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
At the end of last year, ACWA Power announced it will develop Azerbaijan’s first wind power development in collaboration with local entities, as part of joint energy projects with the Kingdom worth $300 million.
“We already have very important positions in countries like Egypt and Morocco. But we are looking at a few other countries, like Senegal and Tunisia and so forth, in terms of our expansion objectives,” Nanda explained.
Established in Riyadh in 2004, ACWA Power employs around 3,500 people and is currently active in 13 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Its portfolio includes 64 assets with an investment value of SR248 billion ($66 billion).