ACWA Power to expand into solar panel manufacturing

U.S. solar

ACWA Power plans to expand into solar panel manufacturing as part of the strategy to tap Saudi Arabia’s renewable power industry, Reuters reported.

Riyadh-based ACWA Power, partly owned by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), is in talks to become a manufacturer of solar panels, CEO Paddy Padmanathan said in an interview, working with the sovereign wealth fund and Japan’s SoftBank on their $200 billion solar-power generation project.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son announced in March last year a plan to invest in creating the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia, a project expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.

The project is set to develop a manufacturing industry in line with Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification plans laid out in its Vision 2030.

“ACWA, being a Saudi company, will be working with PIF and Softbank. We are in talks to become a solar panel manufacturer,” said Padmanathan.

ACWA Power plans to double its power production capacity by 2025 and to expand its operations to 25 markets from the current 12. “We expect renewables to be a significant part of that growth,” he said.

ACWA mandated banks last year to sell a 30 percent stake through an initial public offering (IPO).

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia plans to develop a $2 billion solar and carbon black integrated complex in partnership with China’s Longi and South Korea’s OCI.

A feasibility study for the solar and carbon project will be completed by mid-2019, said Tariq Baksh, vice president, chemicals and renewables program, at Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Clusters Program.