ACWA to buy 58% stake in Omani water plant

ACWA says that buying power plant is the first step to 'becoming global'.
ACWA to buy 58% stake in Omani water plant
By Reem Shamseddine
Sun 13 Dec 2009 11:45 PM

Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power International said on Sunday it signed an agreement to buy a 58 percent stake in a water and power plant in Oman.

The plant, Barka 1, has a capacity of 456 megawatts and produces 91,000 cubic meters of desalinated water, Acwa said in a statement.

ACWA signed the agreement with U.S. AES Corp, IDB Infrastructure fund and their subsidiaries, to buy their stake in the plant, it said.

ACWA was among 10 developers bidding for the stake, it said without identifying bidders.

Qatar Water and Electricity Co, Oman Oil Co, International Power, Abu Dhabi National Energy Co, and a fund run ADIC-UBS were among the bidders, ACWA's chief executive Paddy Padmanathan told Reuters. He declined to disclose the value of the deal.

In a statement, ACWA said: "The deal is subject to the customary stakeholder and regulatory approvals."

This is Acwa's first project outside Saudi Arabia and is part of plans to expand overseas.

Speaking to Reuters, Padmanathan said: "This now gives us the first asset outside Saudi Arabia, we want to become global."

ACWA, a developer of privately financed power generation and desalinated water plants submitted bids on Dec 8 for two new power plants projects in Oman, Barka 3 and Sohar 2.

Together they are estimated at $2 billion, and each has a capacity of 750 MW, Padmanathan added.

Padmanathan told Reuters in March that his company was aiming to expand overseas this year and was eyeing projects in Abu Dhabi, Oman, Bahrain and Africa.

Non OPEC oil producer Oman is investing heavily in electricity projects to meet demand which is growing by about 15 percent annually. Consumption up to June 2009 reached 3,600 megawatts, 16 percent more than the same period in 2008.

(Reuters)

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