CSP technology. 123RF

ACWA Power has announced that China’s Silk Road Fund will acquire a 24.01% equity interest in the 700MW DEWA Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the United Arab Emirates.

Present at the signing was Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and Yanzhi Wang, President of the Silk Road Fund.

Rajit Nanda, Chief Investment Officer of ACWA Power, said: “I am delighted that we have reached an agreement to introduce an investor of the quality and international reputation of the Silk Road Fund.

“This investment is a testimony to the strong track record ACWA Power has already demonstrated as a reliable and responsible project developer and operator.”

DEWA CSP project

The DEWA CSP project, which was awarded to an ACWA Power led consortium in 2017, is the 4th phase of the Mohamed bin Rashid Solar Park, the largest single-site concentrated solar power plant in the world.

The project uses a state-of-the-art combination of a central tower and parabolic trough technologies to collect energy from the sun, store it in molten salt and produce steam as required to generate electricity during the day and throughout the night. Read more: World Bank provides funding for Morocco’s Noor-Midelt complex

The project is projected to deliver electricity at a levelised tariff of $7.30 cents per kilowatt-hour 24 hours a day; a cost level that competes with fossil fuel generated electricity without subsidy for reliable and dispatchable solar energy around the clock.

The plant will support the Dubai Clean Energy strategy 2050 to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai to 25% by 2030, and is expected to provide anannual saving of 2.4 million tonnes of CO2. Read more: S.Africa: Central Energy Fund signs 100MW CSP deal

New investment

Silk Road Fund is a market-oriented, international and professional medium to long-term development and investment institution. It invests in a broad spectrum of sectors under the framework of the “Belt and Road” initiative including infrastructure, energy resources, industrial capacity cooperation and financial cooperation.

Paddy Padmanathan, Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power, said: “The introduction of a new investor into the DEWA CSP is absolutely in line with ACWA Power’s established strategy of sharing investments with value adding partners who will in turn bolster our projects.

“We could not have found a more capable partner than Silk Road Fund to complement DEWA and us on what is the largest single renewable energy project underway in the world today.”

He added: “This co-investment also is in keeping with our investment strategy of efficiently deploying our own capital to retain a meaningful level of equity interest in each project that is sufficient to permit us to be the long-term investor with de facto control over the investment and for us to remain focused on reliably delivering electricity and desalinated water at low cost.”