State-owned firm acquires 50% of Saudi Arabia's Sun & Life

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As part of its renewable energy plans, the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA) has acquired a 50% stake in leading Saudi Arabian solar energy leader Sun & Life.

A development and investment company owned by Saudi Arabia’s state-run Public Investment Fund (PIF), TAQNIA promotes technological development and knowledge transfer in Saudi Arabia by partnering with leading players in industry, venture capital and academia while seeking to maintain attractive returns on investment.

Sun & Life is the solar subsidiary branch of ACWA Holding, a regional infrastructural developer specializing in the power and water sectors. The company currently plans, engineers, realizes and operates large-scale photovoltaic plants. Its latest project is Saudi Arabia’s largest PV plant, a 10.5 MW facility for Saudi Aramco.

Also active in the concentrated solar power (CSP) sector, Sun & Life recently took over German high-tech glass and mirror manufacturer FLABEG, a technology provider and manufacturing leader of solar mirrors used in all kinds of CSP and concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) power plants.

Following its acquisition by TAQNIA, Sun & Life will be renamed TAQNIA Solar.

The company said it would focus on the Saudi Arabian market as well as "other regional markets with fundamental needs for solar applications, with a continuous aim to provide an economically viable alternative to local energy sources."

The formation of TAQNIA Solar is seen as a significant move by the government and domestic market towards the anticipated implementation of the ambitious Saudi energy diversification plan proposed by the government agency K.A.CARE and its set target of realizing 41 GW of solar projects by 2030, an endeavor that will have an estimated cost of more than SAR 350 billion ($93.3 billion).