ACWA Power signs MoU to back Thailand’s decarbonization journey 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia-based energy company ACWA Power has entered into an agreement to support Thailand’s decarbonization ambitions through a green hydrogen and derivatives development project. 

The firm signed a memorandum of understanding with PTT Public Co. Limited, Thailand’s national integrated energy company; and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, an electric power-related state-owned enterprise, according to a press release. 

As part of the terms of the MoU, ACWA Power, PTT, and EGAT will begin collaborating exclusively on a comprehensive plan to establish large-scale, renewable-powered green hydrogen and derivatives production facilities in Thailand for local energy consumption and global market export purposes.  

With an estimated investment of $7 billion, the Southeast Asian country is targeting hydrogen production of around 225,000 tons annually which is equivalent to 1.2 million tons of green ammonia yearly. 

Paddy Padmanathan, vice chairman and CEO of ACWA Power, said: “We are excited at the prospect of supporting green hydrogen and derivatives exploration and advancement in Thailand, a nation that shares our vision for reliably and responsibly delivering clean energy that drives the sustainability agenda and complements essential climate action worldwide.” 

Thailand is aiming to use green hydrogen as an alternative energy source in the upcoming years in an attempt to fulfill its vow of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero emissions by the year 2065, the press release said. 

Moreover, it added that using green hydrogen will help in supporting emissions abatement imperatives and in building a low-carbon circular economy at a domestic level. 

ACWA Power has been expanding its portfolio rapidly, with its asset hitting $75 billion as it posted a 110 percent profit jump in 2022 so far, according to Padmanathan. 

The company is set to reach assets of $230 billion by 2030, the executive told CNBC Arabia. 

While the firm’s current capacity currently stands at 42 gigawatts, he said there exists the capacity to increase the volume by up to three times to reach 150 gigawatts. 

Currently, the company produces 6 million cubic meters of desalinated water, but that figure is estimated to hit 15 million cubic meters by 2030, Padmanathan revealed. 

ACWA Power, which is part-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is also currently producing up to 240,000 tons of green hydrogen, he added.   

A recent bourse filing revealed the energy giant’s profits reached SR883.4 million ($235.1 million) during the first nine months of 2022, up from SR419.9 million during the same period last year. 

The rise was driven by lower costs of development, provisions, and write-offs during the current period. 

It was also attributed to robust growth in ACWA Power’s operating income before impairment and other expenses, as well as lower profit on account of one-off or non-routine expenses during the same period in the year prior, according to a statement. 

Operating income in the nine-month period was SR1.8 billion, an 11 percent increase of SR189 million, compared to the same period last year, which was achieved despite plant outages in four facilities.