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ACWA courts investors amid renewables spin-off

The Saudi power firm is in discussions with a number of institutions following the decision to split its business in two.

A few weeks after being formed, Saudi renewables company ACWA Power Renewco is already holding capital raising talks with several institutional investors.

Parent company ACWA Power earlier this month decided to spin off its renewable energy portfolio to create ACWA Power Renewco. The company will be headed by Chris Ehlers, currently chief operating officer of renewables at ACWA Power.

“Renewables are a different asset class these days so that's why we created a platform for potential investors to come in,” Ehlers told Infrastructure Investor. “The direction it’s going is institutional investors mainly. A number of selected investors are keen to do a journey together.”

ACWA’s renewables portfolio has increased to 1.16GW of wind, solar PV and concentrated solar power either in operation or under development since it began investing in the asset class in 2014. Ehlers said he expects “the portfolio to continue to grow at a similar pace”.

Its focus will continue to be on the north African, Middle Eastern and Gulf regions, as well as on expanding its activities in South Africa.

Earlier this week, ACWA signed financing agreements for a 60MW solar plant in Jordan with the EBRD and FMO. It also completed the agreement to develop the 170MW NOOR I solar project in Morocco, set to be part of a wider PV-CSP 500MW complex, a hybrid technology it plans to utilise more.

“We are seeing these technologies starting to merge,” he explained. “They complement each other very well so having them together in the form of hybrid plants is where we see the development of solar in the future.”