Saudi utilities developer and operator ACWA Power expects to achieve its target of more than $10 billion in new investments this year, as the coronavirus pandemic had “minimal impact” on its projects, the firm’s chief executive told Reuters.
The company is still committed to a planned initial public offering (IPO), although execution will depend on the right timing and market conditions, Chief Executive Paddy Padmanathan said in an interview.
“In the beginning of the year we had a macro target of investing in new projects of about $10 billion dollars,” he said.
“I expect we will achieve that.”
The company had managed to “navigate the COVID-19 impact successfully,” Padmanathan added, thanks to the vital water and power services it provides across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, he added.
“Projects under construction are progressing with some element of marginal impact caused by supply chain and movement restrictions, and projects in development are well in progress,” Padmanathan said.
“Overall, we are blessed in not being severely affected.”
ACWA Power, which wanted to list on the Saudi stock exchange two years ago, is still keen on the public flotation, he said.
“We absolutely recognise the value of having the public also as shareholders ... but we need to do it at the right time when we feel both the markets and we are ready,” Padmanathan said.
“We will get to a public listing sooner rather than later.”
Last year, Yasir al-Rumayyan, the head of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), said the sovereign wealth fund planned to increase its stake in ACWA Power to 40% from 29.28%.
“We have welcomed that and are working towards that,” Padmanathan added.