ACWA Power is a leading international developer, investor, owner and operator of power generation and water desalinisation plants. Sustainability is central to our business model and company philosophy, and a driving force behind our continued growth.
We are in a privileged position to provide access to two of the most fundamental needs for everyday life – clean water and power – driving socio-economic growth in the regions where we operate, including Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. According to the International Energy Agency, there are almost 600 million Africans living without access to reliable energy, impacting living standards and opportunities across the continent. Ensuring global access to energy and clean water is therefore the first step in the fight against this social inequality.
We see our assets as long-term investments, requiring strong relationships with communities spanning generations. Many of our operations are located in the most remote and under-developed regions of the countries in which we operate, meaning that our economic investments and community support initiatives are critical.
To support our remote project locations, we develop a local workforce, local infrastructure and a local supply chain. In conjunction with this, in 2017, our project companies invested over $3 million across 79 localised programs encompassing community support, education, training and the environment.
While we strive to contribute to a wide range of relevant SDGs by ensuring that an inclusive and responsible approach to business drives everything we do, our business today is most aligned with SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy).
At ACWA Power, we know that a collaborative and unified approach across all sectors from government to business will deliver far greater, and more positive, long-term impact for both our communities and shareholders. We’re therefore committed in our support for each of our host countries’ development goals and with a portfolio that is spread across 51 assets in 11 countries, our impact is global.
We are actively facilitating and contributing to the aspirations laid out in the Vision 2030, championed by our home market of Saudi Arabia. This includes increasing renewable energy generation capacity and modernising and expanding local infrastructure. Our Saakar solar project is the first utility scale energy plant being built in the country and, once completed, will provide 300MW of carbon-free energy as part of the Kingdom’s renewable energy programme aiming to produce 9.5GW of renewable energy by 2023.
In Morocco, we have invested in similarly ground-breaking projects to help advance the nation’s ambition to generate 2GW of solar and wind power by 2020. In April 2017, King Mohammed VI opened the NOOR solar complex in Ouarzazate which is being developed, constructed and operated by ACWA Power. The success of this initial project has paved the way for the development of the Ouarzazate complex, a 500MW solar park which is set to produce enough electricity to power thousands of homes across the country with clean, sustainable energy. Similarly, our newly inaugurated Khalladi Wind Farm will generate 370GWh annually will also contribute to the reduction of 144,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, we have been working hard to reduce the cost of renewable power and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy across our markets Already 22% of our portfolio is comprised of renewable energy assets and we see significant opportunities to increase our exposure to renewables in the future, especially as traditionally oil-dependent countries strive to transition their economies away from fossil fuels.
Our water desalination plants in Oman and Saudi Arabia produce clean drinking water for some of the most remote parts of both countries. In Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom’s determination to support desalination projects inspired our involvement in the pioneering Shuaibah Independent Water and Power project in 2004. Since then, the project has been expanded to provide an additional 150,000m3/day to meet accelerating demand from Jeddah.
We see a bright future for ACWA Power as we continue to transform power generation and water desalination capabilities in our existing markets and beyond.