Saudi Arabia-based Acwa Power has signed a SR18.2bn ($4.85bn) power purchase agreement with Uzbekistan’s national electric grid for the Aral 5GW wind power project.

The Aral wind project, to be located in the Karakalpakstan region, is poised to become Central Asia’s largest wind farm.

The agreement was signed at the Tashkent International Investment Forum.

The signing ceremony was attended by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, and Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud.

The event also marked the inauguration of two of ACWA Power’s ongoing projects in the country, the 1.5GW Sirdarya CCGT plant and the first 100MW phase of the Riverside solar plant in the Tashkent region.

ACWA Power will be responsible for constructing, managing, and eventually transferring the wind farm back to the Uzbek government after a 25-year contract term.

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While the project is still in the development stage, the total investment value is subject to change upon reaching financial close.

ACWA Power founder and board chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said: “This historic project will provide clean power to approximately 4.5 million houses in Uzbekistan, a country which is propelling its energy transition thanks to its ambitious and decisive leadership.”

“We are proud to collaborate with Uzbekistan’s government to export our low-carbon expertise beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia, improving the lives of millions in a country with whom we are honoured to share close ties.”

Considered to be a flagship project, it is expected to be deployed in five phases and generate around 18,000GWh of clean energy annually while offsetting 247 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions during its lifetime.

Last month, ACWA Power announced its intention to build a 200MW wind farm in Uzbekistanthe, which will be supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

This project includes a 100MW electricity storage system with a one-hour power storage capacity.

In January this year, the Egyptian government also entered into a $1.5bn wind energy agreement with a Saudi-led consortium ACWA Power.

The agreement entails a 1.1GW wind project in the Gulf of Suez and Jabal El Zayt areas. The project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2.4 million tonnes annually and provide 6,000 direct and indirect jobs.