IFC invests in ACWA RE plans

Multilateral lender the IFC will invest up to $100m in Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power to support renewable energy throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

ACWA, owned by eight Saudi conglomerates, says its main focus will be within the six nations included in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). “In particular, we hope to champion renewable energy in MENA," added Paddy Padmanathan CEO of ACWA Power.

IFC, part of the World Bank group, has financed nearly 2GW of wind power and more than 650MW of solar globally. It began working with ACWA back in 2011.

After financing  the company's expansion into Jordan, it is now considering investing with ACWA Power in the 160MW Noor 1 project, in Ouarzazate, Morocco – the largest concentrating solar power (CSP) project in the developing world.

After years of relatively sluggish progress, analysts say renewables are moving up the agenda in the Middle East as nations seek to meet their growing power needs without having to tap into fossil reserves that they would rather export.