Saudi energy firm ACWA Power has signed a share purchase agreement with the Chinese state-owned Silk Road Fund to sell its 49% stake in the Sirdarya combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility in Uzbekistan.

ACWA Power will continue to hold a 51% stake in the $1bn facility, which has 1.5GW of capacity.

Located in Uzbekistan’s Shirin region, Sirdarya is expected to offer cost-effective energy for residents while displacing two million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The project is expected to come online in early 2024.

Once operational, it will have the capacity to meet 8% of the country’s total power capacity and meet 15% of electricity demand across industry and households.

Electricity generated by the Sirdarya plant will be delivered to Uzbekistan’s JSC National Grid for a period of 25 years.

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ACWA Power vice-chairman and CEO Paddy Padmanathan said: “As ACWA Power continues to expand globally, our mission to provide reliable, responsible, and affordable power and water cannot be achieved alone.

“Under our successful public-private partnership model, the support of global investors like Silk Road Fund is critical in ensuring the development of advanced energy infrastructure that benefits both nations and communities, and enables robust socio-economic progress.”

The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year.

In addition to the CCGT facility, ACWA Power has a further three projects in Uzbekistan, most of which are wind energy assets.

Silk Road Fund chairwoman Zhu Jun said: “The Sirdarya project symbolises the cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative among China, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.

“Silk Road Fund will partner with ACWA Power to bring cleaner power in a more efficient way to local people.”

Last month, ACWA Power signed an agreement with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy to develop a 1.5GW onshore wind project.