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Saudi Firm ACWA Power To Build 1.5 GW Wind Farm In Uzbekistan

The huge Kungrad Wind Farm will have an investment value of $2.4 billion, while offsetting 2.4 million tons of carbon annually.

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saudi firm acwa power to build 1.5 gw wind farm in uzbekistan

Like many countries worldwide, Uzbekistan is beginning to ramp up its clean energy efforts. As part of the nation’s plans to decarbonize, Saudi Arabian company ACWA Power has been tasked to build a 1.5-gigawatt power generation plant in Karakalpakstan, which will be named the Kungrad Wind Farm.

With purchase and investment agreements signed in August 2022, ACWA is now ready to start work on three separate 500-megawatt wind turbine projects on the Uzbek site, plus an additional 100-megawatt battery storage system. In total, the site is projected to have an investment value of $2.4 billion and will be the largest single-site wind farm in Central Asia.

The Kungrad Wind Farm will offset 2.4 million tons of carbon emissions annually and support a long-term Uzbek government strategy to diversify the country’s energy production, which also aims to add 8 gigawatts and 12 gigawatts of solar and wind capacity, respectively, by 2030.

Also Read: Dubai Financial Center Launches Digital Economy Court

“The development of green energy and market reform go hand in hand in Uzbekistan, and the Kungrad project is a milestone both for our wind industry and the new public-private partnership model […] The wind farm in Karakalpakstan, built by our reliable partner ACWA Power, will be another pillar of a sustainable and reliable energy system in Uzbekistan,” says Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov, Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan.

The project will be fully operational by 2027 when it will begin supplying energy to 1.65 million homes.

“The signing of key agreements today for the landmark Kungrad wind farm project, which will set a new benchmark for sustainable energy development in the region, would not have been possible without the guidance of our visionary leadership and the trust and commitment of our partners from the Uzbek government,” says Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman, ACWA Power.

The 1.5-gigawatt Kungrad Wind Farm is ACWA Power’s fifth project in Uzbekistan. As part of the recently signed collaboration, the Saudi Arabian company will also construct several green hydrogen production plants in the Central Asian country, as Uzbekistan aims to lessen its reliance on natural gas.

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Binance Receives Virtual Assets License To Operate In Dubai

As its user base nears 200 million, CEO Richard Teng believes crypto adoption will soar over the next half of the decade.

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binance receives virtual assets license to operate in dubai

Global crypto exchange Binance has been granted a full operational license in Dubai, in a move that’s expected to accelerate digital asset adoption and strengthen the UAE’s regulatory landscape.

The virtual asset service provider license (VASP) was granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and will allow Binance to extend its current range of services to retail investors, the company announced yesterday.

The move by Dubai authorities will be critical to Binance’s strategy of growing its user base globally. The crypto exchange expects to pass the 200 million user mark “quite shortly”, according to Richard Teng, the company’s CEO.

Once that milestone is achieved, Binance will have around twice as many users as rival platform Coinbase. Meanwhile, Crypto.com, another popular exchange with 80 million users, received a Dubai VASP license last week.

“We’re seeing much greater institutional adoption and institutional money coming into this space [along with] much greater regulatory clarity and a lot more jurisdictions approving [digital asset] products that bring in new investor classes,” Binance’s Richard Tang explained, adding: “As of now, we stand at about 5% crypto adoption globally, but that will become much faster moving forward”.

Also Read: Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

Dubai and the UAE are extremely supportive of technologies like digital assets, and have already launched initiatives to boost adoption. The UAE has ambitious plans to become a world leader in the crypto economy of the future, with Dubai in particular being noteworthy for passing a new law to regulate virtual assets to support investors and exchanges.

“Global crypto regulation is currently showing diverging signs. Some developed countries have long suffered from crypto-related frauds and illegal exchanges. On the other hand, emerging nations like the UAE and Singapore have enacted crypto laws at faced pace,” said Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Century Financial.

As the UAE gears up to become one of the fastest-growing crypto capitals worldwide, investors and talent are flocking to places like Dubai. During 2023, the Emirates as a whole realized $204 million in capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, according to blockchain data analysts Chainalysis.

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