Saudi Arabia Backs $77m Solar Project in Belize
In a remarkable step towards fostering sustainable development, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has inked a momentous deal with Belize, a vibrant Central American nation, to finance a groundbreaking solar project valued at a remarkable $77 million.
This agreement is a testament to the SFD's unwavering commitment to driving progress in emerging economies and empowering Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to embrace renewable energy solutions.
At the core of this partnership lies the ambitious plan to construct a state-of-the-art 60-megawatt solar power plant, poised to substantially slash emissions by an impressive 60,000 tonnes annually from the country's energy sector. Beyond its environmental significance, this transformative initiative will play a pivotal role in propelling Belize's socioeconomic growth to new heights.
Notably, this solar endeavour will bolster the resilience of Belize's electrical network, simultaneously propelling the nation's climate change mitigation efforts and facilitating a smooth transition towards clean energy solutions.
Sultan Al-Marshad, the esteemed CEO of SFD, emphasised the multifaceted benefits of this project, stating, "The construction of the solar energy plant in Belize will not only prioritise the health and well-being of the local population but will also pave the way for numerous direct and indirect job opportunities, thus catalysing the socioeconomic progress of the nation. Moreover, this project underscores SFD's unwavering dedication to combating climate change."
The implications of this project transcend environmental benefits, as it promises to invigorate Belize's economy through the creation of a wealth of direct and indirect employment opportunities.
Simultaneously, this newfound self-sufficiency in energy generation will bolster Belize's competitive advantage in the global landscape. Additionally, this noble initiative aligns seamlessly with the United Nations' sustainable development goals, further accentuating its far-reaching impact.
With an illustrious history spanning back to 1975, SFD has spearheaded over 700 development projects and programmes across 90 nations. This latest venture comes at a pivotal moment for Belize, as its rapidly growing economy necessitates an expansion in energy output.
Prime Minister John Briceno hailed the timely nature of the solar project, asserting, "This monumental endeavour holds the key to a multitude of benefits for Belize, ranging from clean energy and cost savings to energy independence, environmental sustainability, job creation, and improved electricity access for rural communities."
In a bid to extend support to other small island developing countries, SFD's CEO engaged in constructive discussions with Dickon Mitchell, the visionary Prime Minister of Grenada. Prospective agreements were explored, focusing on bolstering Grenada's ability to confront and mitigate climate change in vital urban and rural tourist areas, including coastlines and beaches. This reaffirms SFD's enduring commitment to nurturing sustainable development across the globe.
As the sun rises on this monumental solar project in Belize, the world witnesses a transformative moment that underscores the enduring power of sustainable initiatives. Through their bold partnership, the Saudi Fund for Development and Belize are illuminating the path to a greener, more prosperous future—one that resonates with the aspirations of nations striving to safeguard the planet for generations to come.
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Source: Arab News