The Minister of Energy Alisher Sultanov on January 24 held talks with the Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia Khaled Al-Falih, the Uzbek Ministry of Energy said.
The talks took place on the eve of the groundbreaking ceremony of the 1500 MW thermal power plant in Shirin city with the participation of the Saudi company Acwa Power. At the same time, the arrival of the Saudi Arabian delegation became the first visit of a foreign delegation after the long lockdown.
The Saudi Minister of Investment reportedly underscored that since his last visit to Tashkent in 2017, what he is seeing now is that the Uzbek economy had made a 100-year leap forward. Unprecedented transformations have occurred in the energy sector, power generation is increasing, solar and wind energy is developing.
Khaled Al-Falih also expressed confidence that the thermal power plant project in Syrdarya province being implemented by ACWA Power is just the beginning for large-scale investments by Saudi companies in other sectors of the country's economy.
The minister commended the "strategic decision" to develop Uzbekistan’s hydrogen energy sector by creating a scientific center. He stressed that he has high hopes for cooperation in the field of hydrogen energy within the framework of a start-up project to create a research center for hydrogen energy in Uzbekistan with the ACWA Power company.
According to the Saudi minister, "Uzbekistan has the necessary potential to become the largest energy player in the region." Saudi Arabia is ready to become Uzbekistan’s strategic partner, to attract large investments and advanced technologies, as well as to establish programs for training qualified personnel.