Saudi Arabia and France sign cooperation MoU in the field of energy

RIYADH: When a consortium of water infrastructure firms closed inexperienced loans price $480 million for 3 unbiased sewage remedy crops in Saudi Arabia final March, it was a harbinger of the verdant alternative that awaited the Kingdom’s sustainable tasks.

It was a watershed second for the consortium of Saudi firms Tawzea, Tamasuk, and Spanish agency Acciona once they secured the quantity for 3 ISTPs — Madinah 3, Buraidah 2, and Tabuk 2 — in simply six months of expressing their curiosity.

What made the venture a first-rate beneficiary of inexperienced financing was its dedication to the sustainability objectives envisaged by the Saudi Imaginative and prescient 2030 and the endeavors of Saudi Water Partnership Co., the state-run firm which facilitates the commercialization of water and electrical energy within the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is making headlines by taking measures to make sure a easy transition to inexperienced power and struggle local weather change. The Kingdom will host the forty fourth Worldwide Affiliation for Power Economics Worldwide Convention from Feb. 4-9 to debate the trail for a sustainable future.

“The development and operation of the ISTPs will support in optimizing using water sources in Saudi Arabia by offering handled and renewable water for use for agricultural functions, due to this fact lowering the consumption of freshwater,” stated María Ortiz de Mendivil, main analyst, S&P International Scores, in a second-party opinion be aware certifying the tasks as inexperienced.

As soon as accomplished, Madinah 3 will serve as much as 1.5 million inhabitants of present and future residential areas close to the town of Madinah. It’ll have an preliminary remedy capability of 200,000 m³ per day, which might be expanded to 375,000 m³ per day.

Buraidah 2 will serve as much as 600,000 individuals and have a capability of 150,000 m³ per day. Tabuk 2, serving as much as 350,000 individuals, will facilitate 90,000 m³ per day.

The handled water will change freshwater sources for farming, saving this scarce useful resource and contributing on to the nation’s water safety. Each day water financial savings are anticipated to quantity to 190,000 m³ per day at Madinah 3, 142,500 at Buraidah 2, and 85,500 at Tabuk 2.


Madinah 3 can have an preliminary remedy capability of 200,000 m³ per day, which might be expanded to 375,000 m³ per day.

Buraidah 2 will serve as much as 600,000 individuals and have a capability of 150,000 m³ per day.

Tabuk 2, serving as much as 350,000 individuals, will facilitate 90,000 m³ per day.

“Now we have a zero-sludge-dispatch coverage, that means that each one the sludge that we produce in these wastewater remedy crops is both utilized by farmers to switch different fertilizers or despatched to cement factories for the manufacturing of cement,” stated Julio De La Rosa, the Center East enterprise improvement director of Acciona Agua, whereas talking at an Worldwide Desalination Affiliation’s discussion board held two months in the past.

Moreover, the photovoltaic photo voltaic panels put in at every plant will generate renewable energy that can partially cowl their every day power consumption.

The green-certified venture drew the eye of the bigwigs of the finance world, equivalent to Abu Dhabi Islamic Financial institution, Mitsubishi UFJ Monetary Group, Alimna Financial institution, Riyad Financial institution, and Siemens Financial institution, which parked their investments at first blush.

Inexperienced loans for a greener planet

So, what precisely is a inexperienced mortgage? In keeping with the World Financial institution, a inexperienced mortgage is a type of financing that permits debtors to make use of the proceeds to completely fund tasks that make a considerable contribution to an environmental goal.

It’s just like a bond. The one distinction is {that a} mortgage is often smaller than a bond and executed in personal operations. Additionally, inexperienced loans and inexperienced bonds comply with totally different however constant rules: The Inexperienced Mortgage Ideas and the Inexperienced Bond Ideas of the Worldwide Capital Market Affiliation.

This inexperienced financing assumes significance as buyers worldwide are earmarking their funds into sustainable funding tasks that neutralize greenhouse gases and run on renewable power, making them engaging propositions in an environmentally aware world.

Saudi Arabia, notably, has been going through extreme challenges because of the unsustainable use of water sources, and it has restricted reserves of nonrenewable groundwater, that are depleting quickly. As well as, excessive water demand within the agriculture sector has additionally exacerbated the water shortage scenario.

In keeping with figures printed by the Minister of Atmosphere, Water and Agriculture, between 1985 and 2020, the water stage within the Kingdom nearly dropped by 90 meters. That led to the Nationwide Water Technique, impressed by the Imaginative and prescient 2030 blueprint, which recognized levers and enablers to repair the issue.

“The Nationwide Water Technique reshaped the personal sector, which has began to consider be environment friendly and contribute to the water technique, acquire advantages as per their sustainability roadmap and accommodate the surroundings, social and governance of their methods,” stated Mohammed Al Halawani, CEO of Tawzea.

This public-private partnership has spawned many environment friendly unbiased water and energy tasks and desalination crops which might be quick changing into textbook case research for sustainable tasks worldwide.

A superb case research of the PPP is the Taif Impartial Sewage Therapy Plant, which was developed by Cobra & Tawzea and had a remedy capability of 1,00,000 m³ per day.

It’s the first ISTP that reached industrial operation in Saudi Arabia from the personal sector below the build-operate-transfer mannequin.

The plant has lower than 0.35 kilowatt-hour per m³ electrical energy consumption. About 30 p.c of the electrical energy was recovered by biogas cogeneration. Even the residual output was 90 p.c dry solids and helpful class-A sludge.

“Over 210,000 sq. m of timber will probably be launched as a part of the venture with the help of the Saudi Inexperienced Initiative, which is equal to roughly sequestering 136 tons of carbon dioxide per 12 months,” stated Al Halawani.

Sustainable to the core

One other instance is the Shuaibah 3 Water Desalination Co., a special-purpose car created to finance and develop the Shuaibah 3 Impartial Water Venture.

The corporate was launched by Saudi utility developer ACWA Energy and Water & Electrical energy Holding Co., also referred to as Badeel, each owned partly or entire by the Public Funding Fund.

The venture goals to switch a thermal desalination plant, the Shuaibah 3 IWPP, powered by fossil fuels. The usage of reverse osmosis expertise makes the proposed plant extra power environment friendly than the earlier thermal desalination plant that can come offline.

The standard thermal desalination course of, multi-stage flash distillation, and multiple-effect distillation produced practically 20 kg of carbon dioxide equal per m³. Nevertheless, the carbon footprint for the RO course of may very well be wherever from 0.4 to six.7 kg of carbon dioxide equal per m³.

In keeping with ACWA Energy, this expertise shift might accrue financial savings of about 45 million tons of carbon dioxide yearly.

That’s not all. Inexperienced financing is greenlighting a bunch of tasks worldwide, and for the primary time, more cash was raised within the debt markets in 2022 for climate-friendly tasks than fossil-fuel firms.

In keeping with a Bloomberg report, roughly $580 billion was organized in 2022 for renewable power and different environmentally accountable ventures, whereas the oil, fuel, and coal industries turned to lenders and underwriters for nearer to $530 billion. 

Whereas it might not point out that inexperienced financing is lastly having an higher hand on oil lenders, the well-trodden bazaars of fossil gasoline funding have grow to be eerily chilly after the worldwide pushback on loss and injury in the course of the UN Local weather Change Convention in Egypt final 12 months.

Saudi Arabia, on its half, lives by the age-old adage: You by no means miss the water until the nicely runs dry. Whereas going to press, Saudi energy juggernaut ACWA Energy introduced that it added 2.4 million m³ day of water desalination capability throughout 4 reverse osmosis megaprojects in 2022, the biggest in a calendar 12 months within the firm’s historical past.

This achievement brings the corporate’s complete water capability below administration to six.4 million m³ throughout 16 tasks in 4 international locations, producing water at lower than $0.50 per m³, which is as much as three-quarters decrease than the tariff of $2 per m³ only a few years in the past.

Ergo, the message is loud and clear: The way forward for infrastructure financing is inexperienced, or there’s no future in any respect.

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By Samy