Riyadh: Saudi Arabia will need to attract investment in the hundreds of billions of dollars this decade to expand renewable energy and natural gas-fired electricity to meet its generation capacity targets, according to the head of Riyadh-based ACWA Power Co.
The project will require building 60 to 80 gigawatts of power plants using renewable sources like wind and solar and about 30 GW of gas-fired plants, ACWA Power CEO Marco Arcelli said in an interview in the Saudi capital. ACWA Power is mandated to take part in developing 70 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy needs.
The oil-rich kingdom is building new industries to create jobs and develop an economy that’s less dependent on hydrocarbons as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030. That entails attracting investment globally for partnerships alongside Saudi companies like ACWA Power. Arcelli was speaking at the kingdom’s main investment conference in Riyadh.
In addition to domestic investment, the company plans to expand in Central Asia and in China, Arcelli said. The possibility of a slow down in Chinese economic growth “opens a great opportunity for companies like us who come and invest in infrastructure,” Arcelli said.
The Saudi energy company is planning to develop a handful of green hydrogen plants including an $8.5 billion site at Neom, a new city on Saudi Arabia’s northwest coast. ACWA Power plans to begin operations in China as part of a wider global expansion plan through 2030.