An ACWA Power-led consortium has achieved a financial close of $2.37bn on the 2.6GW Al Shuaibah 1 and Al Shuaibah 2 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Saudi Arabia.

The solar PV projects are jointly owned by ACWA Power, Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF)’s subsidiary Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), and Aramco’s subsidiary Saudi Aramco Power Company (SAPCO).

ACWA Power holds a stake of 35.01% while Badeel and SAPCO own 34.99% and 30% interests, respectively in the Saudi Arabian solar PV projects.

According to various media publications, a $1.63bn senior debt financing has been secured for the project. This includes a Saudi Riyal-denominated loan worth $450m from Saudi Arabia’s National Development Fund through the National Infrastructure Fund.

The financing also involves a US-dollar-denominated commercial bank facility of $1.18bn from a consortium of domestic, regional, and global banks.

The facility was provided by First Abu Dhabi Bank, Riyad Bank, Mizuho Bank, Saudi National Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Saudi Investment Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.

To be developed in Al Shuaibah in the Makkah Province, Al Shuaibah 1 and Al Shuaibah 2 will have capacities of 600MW and 2GW, respectively.

The solar PV projects are expected to generate clean electricity to power approximately 450,000 households.

Saudi Power Procurement will be the procurer and the off-taker for the two solar projects.

The Al Shuaibah 1 and Al Shuaibah 2 PV projects are scheduled to commence commercial operations in 2025.

ACWA Power CEO Marco Arcelli has been quoted by the publications, as saying: “Securing financing for this groundbreaking project marks a significant step towards achieving Saudi Arabia’s clean energy goals, in alignment with the National Renewable Energy Program, which aims to generate 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.”

In May 2023, Badeel and ACWA Power invested SAR12.2bn in three new solar PV projects in Saudi Arabia, namely Ar Rass 2, Saad 2, and Al Kahfah with a combined capacity of 4.55GW.