People and community

Focusing on our most important asset, our people

Our new People Strategy

In November 2022, Faisal Jadu became our new Chief People, Culture, and Communications Officer (CPCCO), taking over from Yara Anabtawi, who made a considerable contribution to the development of ACWA Power’s strategy and transformation of our HR services into a mature function.

Faisal has extensive experience in strategic planning, change management, human capital, leadership development, governance and controls, and organisational effectiveness.

Since his appointment, Faisal has been conducting extensive reviews and is formulating a new strategy, which will become an integrated element of ACWA Power’s new strategic direction that will be launched in 2023.

Focus areas for the new People Strategy are:

  • Enhance organisation agility by reinforcing a collaborative and entrepreneurial mindset. The focus will be to build capacity by incorporating Strategic Workforce Planning to anticipate future talent needs and develop our existing workforce while exploring new talent pools and enabling innovative /collaborative forums across the organisation to encourage employees to continue to challenge the norms.
  • Develop and rollout ACWA Power’s Employee Value Position, incorporating our culture and values, to attract and retain the right talent to service the organisation future talent needs.
  • Utilise the newly developed ASPIRE performance management framework to align employee goals with organisational objectives and setting clear performance expectations while providing regular and timely feedback, to ensure employees are focused on achieving the organisation’s mission and objectives.
  • Build strong leadership and management capabilities by rolling out human-centered leadership and management development programmes, to cultivate a strong pipeline of future leaders, improve employee engagement, and drive business results.
  • Continue to support the One ACWA Power culture while fostering an environment that supports physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of all our employees and promotes a workplace culture that celebrates and embraces diversity.
  • Leverage technology to streamline HR processes, reduce administrative burdens, and provide employees with self-service options for accessing HR services while focusing on employee journeys to deliver a brilliant employee experience.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate our employees for their contributions, achievements, and milestones, while demonstrating that their work is valued and appreciated by rolling out corporate wide peer-to-peer recognition programmes.


Our inventive team

Human capital

Full-time employees
Managers and directors
Local nationals

Inviting and empowering our people to succeed

To achieve our goal of full energy transition and serve our stakeholders successfully, we rely on a range of talent drawn from the diverse communities where we operate. People being one of the three core values for ACWA Power, we aim to have an inclusive culture where employees have a sense of belonging and feel valued.

The organisation recognises that diversity has many dimensions, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, education, and socio-economic background, and is working to incorporate all these dimensions in the future People strategy to enable an Employee Value Proposition to retain and attract diverse talent.

In 2022, our workforce consisted of 4,062 employees spread across 12 countries where we operate in, with female employees comprising 7% of the total workforce. By the end of 2022, 8% of manager and director-level roles were occupied by female employees.

The organisation is committed to developing and utilising local talent wherever we operate with a clear focus on uplifting communities we operate in. Our commitment to supporting local workforces was reflected in our employment of 2,446 local employees, representing 65% of the total workforce and an increase of 11% over the past four years.

The table below is another example of ACWA Power’s commitment to developing and utilising local talent, as a result of which the organisation has a high level of local employment in the communities where we operate. The only exception to this is Bahrain where we are exploring additional talent pools to incorporate in our talent acquisition strategy and UAE which is home to ACWA Power’s international office.

Country Headcount Locals Expats Localisation
Azerbaijan 1 1 100%
China 16 16 100%
Ethiopia 1 1 100%
Jordan 15 13 2 87%
Saudi Arabia 1,391 1,104 287 79%
Bahrain 75 36 39 48%
Egypt 38 36 2 95%
Morocco 176 171 5 97%
Oman 234 190 44 81%
South Africa 73 68 5 93%
Turkey 68 68 0 100%
UAE 892 36 856 4%
Uzbekistan 38 32 6 84%
Vietnam 12 12 100%

Employee life cycle — attract, retain and develop our people

In line with the new People strategy, the organisation is also focusing on providing an amazing employee experience while achieving the end goal of having one talent pool across the organisation. This is being enabled by implementing a single global HR Information system, with employee and manager self-service capabilities, supported via a knowledge database allowing employees to have easy access to required information and provide them the ability to service most of their needs independently, without any follow-ups.

In 2021, the organisation moved to the new ASPIRE performance management process which started the shift from conventional, rating-based assessment to a talent management framework which aims to yield insights from staff and stimulate high performance. The rollout of this continues to progress with complete employee population coverage by mid-2023.

As a continuation of the talent assessment and development process, in 2022 the organisation identified successors for our main leadership roles and developed individual development plans to ensure readiness.

The organisation completed talent reviews for 54 senior managers and identified successors for critical and pivotal roles in corporate and project areas, incorporating localisation, diversity, and inclusion. A similar exercise was completed, which involved 204 managers, where successors were identified, and individual development plans were launched to prepare them for future career moves.

Continuous learning is critical to ensuring our talent stays engaged and up to speed on recent developments. Our partnership with LinkedIn provides us with more than 15,000+ digital learning resources on numerous topics, including business and leadership skills, operations management, financial management and compliance training and tools. Mishkaty, our Learning Management System Platform, offers more than 1,600 learning resources covering technical, HSSE and behavioural topics.

In 2022, the use of our LinkedIn-based learning programme increased by 13%. More than 90 employees undertook 39 external courses, or online learning modules, achieving a cumulative 22,507 learning hours.

In response to the changing workplace, we have transformed our in-person development training into interactive virtual learning experiences by increasing the number of bespoke courses by 50% compared to 2021.

Through Mishkaty, our learning management system, users accessed upskilling sessions and technical competence assurance programmes, achieving a cumulative 109,124 learning hours during the year.

The table above represents the training provided through Mishkaty, covering various domains, in 2022.

To develop our leaders for tomorrow, our flagship Leadership Development Programme (LDP) was run in partnership with PwC Academy, as part of which 16 participants graduated in 2022.

In collaboration with HULT EF Corporate Education, the organisation also developed and launched the new EMO Accelerator programme under which 15 colleagues were enrolled in the 2-year programme.

The organisation has also worked to develop and sponsor multiple different training programmes, some of which are listed below:

  • Saudi Graduate Development Programme as part of which 24 Saudi graduates went through on-the-job training, comprehensive rotation, and classroom training.
  • Workforce Development Programme, supported by the Ministry of Energy, as per which 29 candidates were trained on various domains, covering HR, business intelligence, renewable energy and HSE.
  • Reverse Osmosis Programme which trained 25 candidates on RO technology and maintenance.
  • KSA Young National Development Programme as part of which 18 trainees were aligned with business development, portfolio management, finance, engineering, and compliance.
  • UAE Young National Development Programme as part of which six trainees were aligned with business development, health and safety, engineering, and HR.
  • Orphans (Waed Programme), supported by the Chairman, to help support 40 orphans to become employable in renewable energy and reverse osmosis sectors.
Course categories Count of completions (total) Sum of total time spent in class minutes/hours
Compliance 15,496 1,202,622/20,044
Functional training 941 55,009/917
HSSE 12,542 1,489,963/24,833
Leadership 996 272,083/4,535
Onboarding 556 11,484/1,891
Soft skills 1,917 312,359/5,206
System training 261 2,063/34
Technical training 35,362 3,150,107/52,502
Information security 4,141 51,770/863
Grand total 72,212 6,547,461/109,124

Supporting our people’s well-being

We give our corporate employees the flexibility to work from home and in their home countries and make digital collaboration tools available to maintain efficiency and productivity. In April 2023, we rolled out a new policy that gives employees flexibility and empowers line managers to support their teams with the focus on delivery rather than how and from where work is delivered. Guidelines have been designed to reward tenure with the organisation with the eligibility increasing based on years of service, irrespective of grade. We believe that this new model will bring many benefits to our organisation and our employees.

To enable people to manage changes to the way they live and work, we hosted more than 30 webinars with external experts on a range of issues, including mental health, fitness and stress management. Our global emergency assistance programme, in collaboration with ISOS, provided a 24/7 confidential medical and travel support service to our people and their families.

We have built wellness into our revised HR policies and included wellness and occupational health in our medical insurance benefits. Survey results showed 96% of respondents were satisfied with the support they received and 99% were aware of pandemic-related safety protocols.

Welfare management

In 2021, ACWA Power engaged a third party to design and implement a due diligence process to assess welfare management at construction projects. This was a pilot programme in Taweelah and Um Al Quwain projects and covered a comprehensive assessment of welfare management, including labour rights and well-being, compliance with local regulations and other project-specific requirements, internationally approved standards, such as those of the International Finance Corporation, and good practice.

In 2022 we used the data acquired to design the ACWA Power Welfare Management System for the development of future projects.

The importance of safety

Safety remains our highest priority and we seek new ways to instil a safe, secure, healthy and environmentally-friendly workplace.

Despite our best efforts in upholding such high standards, it is with great sorrow that we must bear the loss of three lives in separate accidents on our construction and operational sites. These tragedies affected the entire ACWA Power family and are still keenly felt.

Following this tragic setback, we set up an Executive Safety Committee, comprising C-Suite executives as well as Head of Safety, to ensure that our full focus is applied to this fundamental value. Our new Safety Task Force reports to this Committee. We also engaged an independent third party to conduct a rigorous review of our policies and procedures. Furthermore, we are investing more in training our staff to be more conscientious about their safety and that of their colleagues in the workplace, at all times. We believe these steps will transform our safety culture and contribute towards achieving our goal of zero harm. We also work to ensure the well-being of our people and to support their growth. We updated and harmonised several HR policies to improve performance, ensure consistency and follow best practice. The exercise was also designed to improve our people management processes, including talent acquisition, performance management, learning and development, and remuneration.

HSSE strategic framework

Inspired by our desire to contribute towards the zero harm goal and guided by our values, we are designing a HSSE strategy framework that creates maximum impact and provides sustainable solutions.

To ensure a consultative process, we have embarked on a strategy formation journey including multiple interventions. These assisted in generating meaningful dialogue, creating a safe space for people to not only contribute but also take responsibility and commit towards our shared strategy framework. The objectives are to:

  • define a detailed strategic framework for the region laying out our strategic pillars (the why), defining sub objectives for each pillar (the what) and designing interventions to implement (how); and
  • create inter-functional and regional ownership and shared goals.

We are developing the HSSE strategy based on five steps:

Diagnosis was conducted by a third party with one-on-one interviews with all functional and regional heads to create a roadmap to identify our strategic pillars and address opportunities collectively.

This strategic framework, guided by ACWA Power’s vision, mission and values, helps define our long-term direction, milestones, objectives and the required actions.

By regularly tracking our KPIs, the ACWA Power HSSE team can determine whether its interventions are having the desired impact and adjust as needed.

Having a well-defined strategy framework will help us to be more structured and proactive. However, we require structured processes of stakeholder engagement, leadership assurance and commitment, robust systems and a well-defined digitalisation process. We have initiated the development of the strategy in 2022 and will implement it during 2023.

Digital transformation of HSSE performance reporting

One of the key objectives in ACWA Power’s HSSE Policy is to standardise, monitor and benchmark HSSE performance regularly at all our sites to ensure continuous improvement. We have been relying on Excel based HSSE performance reporting whereby data consolidation requires extra time and effort for trending and analysis. We have now transformed our HSSE performance reporting to digital reporting.

With digital tools sites can generate their HSSE Performance reports using Synergi Life automated report generation feature eliminating the need for manual reports, reducing the possibility of errors, and freeing up team time to do analysis. Global HSSE Dashboard will provide management teams with a 360 degree real time view of accurate data anywhere, any time.

Core values

Third Eye

Given the scale of effort over the next five years, the implementation of the transformation programme will require prioritisation thus:

  • Prioritise digital programmes with highest impact
  • Take into account the business-logic dependencies of digital programmes
  • Ensure fair coverage of programmes across the business units

We are investing in digital solutions to enhance workers’ safety. Our AI based digital solution, used in the field, analyses unsafe behaviour in a fast and timely manner to prevent incidents. Processing in real-time, the power plant camera video feeds analyse workers behaviour through the adoption of computer vision algorithms and platforms, while respecting their privacy (no video is recorded and no biometric information is collected). This improves safety on our premises.

The Third-Eye AI plant infrastructure opens up a number of possible future use cases, from vehicles speed-tracking to AI driven drone inspections. In addition, third party vision algorithms can be implemented in the existing software platform without increasing spending for further software.

We have successfully concluded a pilot project at one of our sites, and we are undergoing an industrialisation review to implement this AI based digital solution across our portfolio in 2023.

Safety Task Force (STF)

As part of ACWA Power’s continuous drive towards safety enhancement, the Company’s leadership has established a Safety Task Force (STF) reporting to the Safety Executive Committee. The STF is conferred with developing a specific set of safety culture step change initiatives. The STF has a mix of members from construction, operations, corporate safety, and business functions from across the portfolio. As part of the Safety Task Force onboarding, the team has conducted several background sessions to review the findings in ABS Group’s 360° construction site review, historical cultural surveys conducted across the business, trends of incident/accident reports, and outcomes of the recent audits conducted. The STF conducted a face-to-face session over two days in June 2022 when nine key areas were agreed as primary focus points in our drive to zero harm:

  1. Procedures
  2. Permit To Work (PTW) system
  3. EPC contract
  4. Leadership engagement
  5. Training and competency assurance
  6. Structured communication
  7. Recruitment and integration
  8. Accountability
  9. Digitalisation

We are highly committed in implementing these nine elements action across the company in 2023 and progress is monitored directly by the Safety Executive Committee. We are confident the implementation of the STF initiative will bring a positive change and drive the culture to achieve zero harm.

ACWA Power’s life-saving rules

ACWA Power is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment. Life-saving rules are intended to supplement and support existing company management systems, programmes and policies.

12 office life saving rules

Ergonomics & display, screen equipment

Ensure correct posture and safe sittings when using the office workstations and the display screen equipment.


Do not use frayed, cut or cracked electrical cords, and report any damages.

Energy isolation

Verify Process/Mechanical/Electrical Isolation and Zero energy before work begins and use the specified life protecting equipment.

Slips and trips

Protect yourself against tripping and slipping hazards and keep walking areas dry and clear from clutter or obstructions.

Fire & emergency

Evacuate immediately to designated assembly point and follow the emergency procedures.

Manual handling

Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways when lifting an object.

Safe driving

Follow safe driving rules, wear your seatbelt, don’t use phone while driving and don’t exceed speed limits.


Obtain authorisation before entering premises, report any threat and follow all security instructions.

Line of fire

Keep yourself and others out of the line of fire. Observe the hazards around you and apply SWA. Be safe and work safely.

Fit for duty

Ensure you have the required knowledge for the job, ensure your health and fitness for work. No alcohol or drugs while working or driving.

Food safety & hygiene

Check the expiry date of food items and wash hands properly before handling food and before eating.

Stairs & elevators

Don’t use the elevator during an emergency. Take the stairs and use handrails.

*No smoking/vaping/e-cigarettes allowed except in the designated areas.

12 golden life saving rules

Work authorisation

Work with a valid work permit when required

Conduct gas test when required

Verify Gas tests conducted to avoid exposure to explosive, flammable, toxic or life threatening vapours.

Energy isolation

Verify process/mechanical/electrical isolation and zero energy before work begins and use the specified life protecting equipment.

Confined space

Obtain authorisation before entering a confined space.

Bypassing safety control

Obtain authorisation before overriding or disabling safety contorls.

Working at height

Protect yourself against a fall when working at height more than 1.8 m (6 ft).

Safe driving

Follow safe driving rules, wear your seatbelt, don’t use phone while driving and don’t exceed speed limits.


Obtain authority before entering premises, report any threat & follow all security instruction.

Line of fire

Keep yourself and others out of the line of fire. Observe the hazards around you and apply Stop Work Authority (SWA). Be safe and work safely.

Safe mechanical lifting

Plan lifiting and control the area, establish, maintain, and honour barriers and exclusion zones.

Fit for duty

Ensure you have the required knowledge for the job, ensure your health and fitness for work. No alcohol or drugs while working or driving.


Verifying a safe means of access and egress, Establish, maintain, and honour barriers and exclusion zones.

*No smoking/vaping/e-cigarettes allowed except in the designated areas.

Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE)

Please see the below table for HSE related data for 2022
Health and safety 2019 2020 2021 2022
Hours worked (million) total 52 62 104 80
Lost Time Incidents (LTIs) total 12 10 2 4
Recordable incidents total 53 36 26 27
Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) average rate 0.20 0.12 0.05 0.07
Fatality total 2 0 2 3
LTI – employees total 1 1 0 1
LTI – contractors total 1 1 2 3
LTI rate average rate 0.03 0.03 0.01 0.02
Hours worked (million) total 14 13 13 13
Lost Time Incidents (LTIs) total 2 2 0 1
Recordable incidents total 13 10 12 14
Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) average rate 0.18 0.15 0.18 0.21
Fatality total 0 0 0 2
LTI – employees total 1 1 0 1
LTI – contractors total 1 1 0 0
LTI rate average rate 0.03 0.03 0 0.04
Hours worked (million) total 38 49 91 66
Lost Time Incidents (LTIs) total 10 8 2 3
Recordable incidents total 40 26 4 10
Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) average rate 0.21 0.11 0.03 0.03
Fatality total 2 0 2 1
LTI – employees total 0 0 0 0
LTI – contractors total 10 8 2 3
LTI rate average rate 0.06 0.03 0.01 0.01

Lost time incidents

The overall LTI rate was 0.02. This was achieved by adopting industry best practice, advanced monitoring tools, notably Synergi Life, compliance assurance programmes (such as OHSE (Occupational Health, Safety and Environment) and process safety audits), sharing of lessons learned and ongoing HSSE (Health Safety Security and Environment) training and development.

Enhancing Process Safety Maturity

A Process Safety Management (PSM) system identifies potential hazards in day-to-day operations and puts measures in place to prevent major incidents occurring. To build greater awareness of process safety, and to ensure its effective implementation, we developed a process safety video and delivered training to O&M projects on PSM. The system includes:

  • 100% implementation of internal process safety reviews
  • Training for the PSM champions
  • Permit To Work enhancements
80 million
hours worked
Lost Time Incident rate (operational and construction)
Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE)

Corporate social responsibility

Contributing to our communities

ACWA Power contributes to the communities in which it operates by encouraging and developing local service providers, suppliers and the local workforce to stimulate national talent and assist in developing energy transition initiatives.

Stimulating the Kingdom’s ingenuity

We continue to support the considerable potential of Saudi youth to originate progressive and sustainable ideas. To highlight the efforts of the next generation of innovators, The Power Is within You is an initiative which includes an incubation programme designed to help develop winning ideas, using a dedicated training and mentoring process.

The programme empowers youth in the Kingdom to create, ideate and innovate in the power and water sectors.

It is part of ACWA Power’s drive to achieve the renewable energy goals set out in Vision 2030 and builds on our successful track record of utilising cutting-edge technology to transform operations.

Our community initiatives

ACWA Power has always considered itself to be an integral member of the communities in which it operates. We prioritise community engagement and address the most pressing issues our communities face with relevant CSR programmes. We are fully committed to community development, social responsibility and supporting sustainable livelihoods.

We channel resources to CSR initiatives wherever we operate – whether mandated by the terms of our agreements or not – and encourage our business units operating in diverse geographies to factor CSR considerations into their operations. When launching CSR initiatives, due consideration is given to the diversity of regional cultures, values and customs. In 2022, most of our CSR support was allocated to supporting various social and environmental initiatives in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Morocco and South Africa.

Corporate social responsibility

Reversing desertification and planting 10 billion trees in Tashjeer


With increased urbanisation and industrialisation, Saudi Arabia has faced increased desertification of its environment - a challenge for this already arid country.


In order to tackle this, the Saudi government has identified the reversal of desertification as part of its Saudi Green Initiative policy. Objective 5 of the programme involves planting 10 billion trees and rehabilitating 40 million hectares of land within the coming decades.

ACWA Power, a 40+% government-owned entity, contributed to these efforts by engaging in an extensive tree planting programme titled Green Initiative – Tashjeer in the Makkah Province, western Saudi Arabia. In 2022, via Shuaibah Water & Electricity Company (SWEC) and Shuaibah Expansion Project Company (SEPCO), ACWA Power’s subsidiaries, the Company invested SAR 1.6 million to plant one million seedlings of local varieties of trees across housing communities and football fields in the province.

Reversing desertification and planting 10 billion trees in Tashjeer

Impact on SDGs

The initiative has been inspired by both the Saudi Green Initiative and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, specifically:

SDG 13. Climate action

SDG 11. Sustainable cities and communities

Creating record-breaking desalination capacity


Saudi Arabia is a water-scarce country that heavily relies on desalination to meet its water needs. According to the U.S-Saudi Business Council, about 60% of the country’s water supply comes from desalination .

Case study: Rabigh 3 IWP

The Rabigh 3 Independent Water Plant (IWP), developed by ACWA Power, is a large-scale desalination project that provides clean and safe drinking water to the residents of the Kingdom. It is a reverse osmosis desalination plant that can produce 600,000 m3 of water per day. The project has been recognised as the the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination facility by the Guinness World Records™ in 2022 and has been awarded the Excellence in Water Desalination award by the International Desalination Association (IDA). It currently meets the water needs of one million households in Makkah Al Mukarramah and Jeddah.

The breakthrough project was developed with the latest reverse osmosis (RO) technology, which is considered one of the most efficient and cost-effective desalination methods. For the first time, Saudi Arabia placed an energy cap of 3.5 kW per hour on a desalination plant, which reduces the energy consumption and in turn reduces the entire desalination sectors average tariff by 30–40%, resulting in reduced overall carbon emissions.

The SAR 2.6  billion project is the first desalination plant of its size in the private sector with 100% Saudi workforce. Rabigh 3 IWP embodies an ideal model for projects that contribute to increasing local content in the water desalination sector through the localisation of skills and expertise needed by the sector; as well as enhancing the capabilities of young Saudi talent as they actively participate in the implementation, operation and management of pioneering projects worldwide.

Creating record-breaking desalination capacity


The Rabigh 3 IWP has had a significant impact in  addressing the water scarcity challenges in Saudi Arabia, as well as bolstering the local community and the environment. The project has enhanced the quality of life for the residents of the western province of Makkah by providing them with access to safe and clean drinking water and job opportunities.

Impact on SDGs:

Producing 600,000 m3 of clean water per day, and helping to increase access to safe and reliable water supply for communities in the Kingdom.

The project is a major infrastructure development that uses advanced technologies and innovation to meet the country’s water needs.

Designed to minimise its carbon footprint and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels in desalination by using RO technologies, energy recovery systems and advanced membrane processes.

Decent work and economic growth: creating employment opportunities during the construction and operation phases of the plant.

The project is expected to continue operating in the long-term and to serve as a benchmark for other desalination projects worldwide. The future targets for the project include maintaining high standards of water quality and sustainability to ensure it continues to meet the water needs of the region.

Creating record-breaking, low tariff solar power


Solar power is highly attractive as a renewable form of energy but it has been historically unable to deliver sufficiently low tariffs to justify large-scale rollout.

Case study: Sakaka PV IPP

ACWA Power undertook the Sakaka PV IPP project in collaboration with Al Gihaz holding company, and aimed to bring to life the government’s vision to energise and empower communities across Saudi Arabia, and deliver an equitable, sustainable, and prosperous future. Sakaka PV IPP was the first-ever utility-scale renewable energy project in Saudi Arabia and was awarded to ACWA Power in 2018 by the Saudi Arabia Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO). The project is located in the Al Jouf region of Saudi Arabia, and generates 300 MW of electricity using photovoltaic solar panels. The project was commissioned in 2019 and is currently operational.


At a time when solar power tariffs were not competitive enough to support large-scale commercial deployment of solar power plants, ACWA Power offered a world record-breaking tariff of US cents 2,3417/kWh (8,781 halalas/kWh) at the time and was selected as the most competitive compliant offer from submissions made by consortia of eight local and international bidders. Sakaka PV IPP became the first-ever utility scale solar power plant in the Kingdom and a benchmark for national and international companies to measure against.

The  USD  1.2 billion project aims to provide clean and sustainable energy to the  people of Saudi Arabia, while also contributing to the Saudi Vision 2030 to diversify the country’s energy mix and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. The project generates 300 MW, enough to power around 75,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by over 430,000 tonnes per year. Sakaka PV IPP was developed as an Independent Power Producer (IPP) project, meaning that ACWA Power will operate and maintain the project for a period of 25 years, after which ownership will be transferred to the Saudi Government.

In addition, ACWA Power combated unemployment by creating new employment opportunities for Saudi youth. The company is nurturing and upskilling young Saudis to become the next generation of leaders in the fields of water desalination and power technologies. The Sakaka PV IPP serves as a significant contributor to local employment in the Kingdom through 100% local employment in the Al Jouf region. Localisation also involved raising the share of local contracts with domestic companies that meet international quality standards.

Creating record-breaking, low tariff solar power

Impact on SDGs

The Sakaka PV IPP project has a positive impact on several SDGs, particularly SDG 7, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The project provides clean and sustainable energy to the  people of Saudi Arabia, improving their access to clean energy and ensuring energy security. Furthermore, it heralded the Kingdom’s expansion into solar power and was succeeded by numerous utility-scale clean energy.

The impact of the Sakaka PV IPP on the Sustainable Development Goals can be found in the following areas:

The project generates 300 MW of clean energy through state-of-the-art photovoltaic panels, which supply more than 75.000 households with green power and offsets over 430,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The project employs 100% Saudis, and ACWA Power is nurturing and upskilling young Saudis to become the next generation of leaders in the fields of water desalination and power technologies.

The project brings ACWA Power’s global technological and industrial expertise to the Kingdom to build the first ever utility-scale renewable energy plant, thereby diversifying energy sources and stimulating sustainable economic development in the Kingdom.

The project contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by offsetting over 430,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Partnerships for the Goals: the project is a result of robust collaboration and a demonstration of the public-private partnership model that serves as a crucial driver of sustainable development in various developing countries.

Closing the gap between tertiary education and employment in Saudi Arabia


According to the OECD, Saudi Arabia has a gap between tertiary education and adults who gain employment. According to their research, just 74% of adults who have gained tertiary education are employed, which is one of the lowest rates in any OECD or partner countries.


To tackle this gap, ACWA Power found that targeting students while they are young would ensure that they would continue to work after attaining university education. In the summer of 2022, the company launched a training programme at the Higher Institute for Water and Power Technologies (HIWPT) for high school students. The main objective of this programme is to contribute to the development of skills and employability of the Saudi youth, regardless of gender.

Closing the gap between tertiary education and employment in Saudi Arabia

Classes focused on:

  • Renewables as future power resources
  • Environmental and climate change
  • Selected behavioural change topic promoting energy efficiency and responsible water usage
  • Selected online safety and health training
  • Selected online soft skills and self-development training
  • Basic computer literacy skills
  • Special online English language training

Impact on SDGs

The programme is designed to achieve SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth as the curriculum focuses on practical, topical themes related to energy and sustainability.

Fostering ingenuity at HIWPT
Institute logo
ACWA Power supports HIWPT, which strives to be the best training institute in Saudi Arabia in the water and energy sectors by creating career opportunities through innovative technical training.
I am very impressed with HIWPT’s remarkable progress to reinforce its commitment to help the government’s ambition for the betterment of our community and our country by offering high-level training initiatives and a proper training ground for our youth.”
Mr Mohammad Abunayyan Chairman of ACWA Power, November 2022
Female training programmes

In 2022, HIWPT launched female training programmes with one on reverse osmosis desalination, with 15 trainees, and ACWA Power intends to sponsor about 60 female trainees in July 2023. Other programmes will include health and safety and renewable energy.

Virtual reality welding training

Virtual reality welding training at HIWPT

utilisation of training capacity
trainees since establishment
current trainees enrolled
national and international certifications
diploma programmes supported by HRDF
sponsorship partners and counting
Capacity Improvement
Customer Satisfaction

An annual survey conducted by a third party.