Saudi Arabia to invest $12bn in Uzbek development projects – Arab News

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RIYADH: Investments worth $12 billion through mutually beneficial projects between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia will give a new impetus to the growth of the Central Asian country’s energy, IT and agriculture sectors.

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih led a high-profile delegation to Uzbekistan on Monday, according to Uzbekistan’s news agency known as Uza.

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Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev welcomed the visit of the Saudi delegation, which culminated in the signing of agreements for mutually beneficial projects in energy, and agriculture, as well as pharmaceuticals, IT, and infrastructure development.

The president emphasized the dynamic progress between nations, citing the increasing trade turnover, growing volumes of Saudi direct investments, particularly in green energy, and the frequency of direct flights.

Mirziyoyev highlighted the positive impact of the Saudi Fund for Development, supporting vital projects in healthcare, education, water supply, and other key sectors.

Uza stated that a collaborative fund aimed at expanding Uzbekistan’s economic opportunities is in the process of being established.

“An agreement was also reached to promote new projects and programs worth $11 billion in transport infrastructure and utilities, geology, irrigation, household waste processing, higher education, and labor migration,” it reported.

The significance of the partnership with ACWA Power, a major investor and strategic ally in the development of green energy in Uzbekistan, was also underscored. The company is actively engaged in projects totaling $7.5 billion. 

Mirziyoyev celebrated the establishment of a combined cycle power plant in the Syrdarya region, boasting a capacity of 1,500 megawatts, as well as the initiation of a green hydrogen production facility in the Tashkent region.

These projects were carried out in collaboration with ACWA Power.

The Syrdarya power plant, valued at $1.1 billion, is expected to cater to the electricity requirements of more than 3 million households and numerous industrial enterprises. 

The initial phase of the green hydrogen production facility project aims to produce 3,000 tons of hydrogen, subsequently processed into mineral fertilizers, alongside the creation of a 52MW wind station.

The cumulative impact of these projects is projected to contribute significantly to the nation’s renewable energy capacity, aiming for 25 gigawatts by 2030. Moreover, these endeavors are anticipated to save 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas and curtail harmful emissions by up to 3 million tons.

A ceremony was held to award Al-Falih the “Dustlik” Order for his outstanding contribution and comprehensive support for developing multifaceted and mutually beneficial relations between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia.

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