President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the Chairman of the Board of “ACWA Power” of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Abunayyan, and the Chief Executive Officer of “Masdar” of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.
Welcoming the guests, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Welcome to Azerbaijan! I am very glad to see you. I would like to extend my congratulations to you on a very important Executive Agreement signed today with “ACWA Power” and “Masdar”, the leading companies in the energy sector, especially in the alternative energy sector. This agreement will open up a new page in the development of energy projects in Azerbaijan, because renewable energy is one of the energy sector priorities for us today. Azerbaijan is already securing its own electricity reserves and exporting it. However, our goal is to attract investors to the renewable energy sector, and the significance of the Executive Agreement is that wind and solar power plants will be built at the investors’ expense. You are thus showing interest in working in Azerbaijan. We view this as a sign of confidence in our country and its future, because very large investments are involved. I was informed that after the signing of the Executive Agreement today there will still be some time to prepare other agreements, and we look forward to taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony for solar and wind power plants this year. These are very important projects for us.
As I have already mentioned, Azerbaijan has made large investments in the electricity sector and power lines connect us with our neighbors. We have invested heavily in electricity generation. We now have 1,000 megawatts of additional electricity capacity and we export it. We have export markets. I also want to inform you that our investments in this sector are acknowledged by leading international institutions, in particular the Davos World Economic Forum. In terms of accessibility of electricity, it has awarded Azerbaijan second place in the world. Our entire country is provided with power lines and, as I have already noted, Azerbaijan has become an exporter. Also recently, just over a month ago, together with our partners, we completed the important TANAP gas pipeline project, which has already reached the borders of the European Union. The more energy we get from the sun and wind, the more natural gas we will save for our own needs and exports. Therefore, I attach great importance to today's ceremony. It testifies to the fact that we are on the right track. It also shows that Azerbaijan has created excellent conditions for investors.
Your investments will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. The total volume of electricity will be 440 megawatts. It will be a truly major transformation in Azerbaijan in terms of renewable energy. I am also glad that your companies have been selected as partners in these projects. I believe that this was not a surprise. I was informed that “ACWA Power” has a total of more than 30,000 megawatts of electricity. It also produces 8,000 megawatts of electricity in the field of renewable energy. “Masdar” produces 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy. So you are quite experienced and leading companies in this field. Therefore, I am very glad to see you. I am sure that our cooperation will be long-term, all projects and technical issues will be resolved in a timely manner. We will start these two large projects, and they will allow us the opportunity to attract other investments, other investors to Azerbaijan because our country has a lot of wind and sun. Sometimes the wind creates some inconvenience, but at the same time cleans the air. And now wind and sun will serve our energy production, thanks to which a large amount of natural gas will be saved for domestic use and exports. Welcome, and thank you again for the decision to invest in Azerbaijan.
The Chief Executive Officer of “Masdar” of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, said:
- Mr. President, please allow me to thank you on behalf of my Government, the United Arab Emirates and shareholders of “Masdar” for this opportunity. We have committed ourselves to participate in your plans aimed at decarbonization and to support them. The world is reducing its dependence on traditional methods of energy production and is heading towards decarbonization, towards a cleaner future. “Masdar” is committed to sustainable urban communities, renewable energy and the technology of the future.
Mr. President, it is a great honor for us to participate in this process and to have been selected by you. We know that if it hadn’t been for your support, clear instructions and your approach, we would not be here today.
Thank you very much again, Mr. President. You can trust us on achieving a result the country and the world will be proud of, Inshallah.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Thank you very much. We are witnessing a new stage in the development of energy projects in Azerbaijan today. I am very glad to start 2020 with such an important event. It will have a good future and bring our countries closer together. You have mentioned tourists from Saudi Arabia. I believe that the number of tourists from the United Arab Emirates is the same. The number of Azerbaijanis visiting your countries is also growing. This is due not only to what we offer tourists. The reason is that people feel comfortable. Azerbaijanis visiting your countries and your citizens visiting Azerbaijan feel absolutely at home. The signing ceremony of this Executive Agreement will also strengthen the ties between our countries.