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Masdar and Uzbekistan announce utility-scale solar PPP project
Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, Masdar, is to work with the Uzbekistan government in a public-private partnership (PPP) solar project under the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Scaling Solar programme.
Masdar won the bid to develop the 100-megawatt utility-scale solar plant in the Navoi region of Uzbekistan.
Diversifying the energy mix
Uzbekistan is highly dependent on natural gas, which accounts for 82 per cent of the country’s electricity generation. This project highlights the country’s ambitions to develop 5GW of renewable power by 2030 and to diversify its energy mix. Uzbekistan is set to develop up to 1GW of solar power, and the new 100MW solar plant is the first step.
“Uzbekistan has made a solid step towards the development of an independent power producer’s market with the country’s first open tender public-private partnership,” said Shukhrat Vafaev, deputy minister of investments and foreign trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“We opened new markets for private sector participation and set a precedent in the country with the announcement of Masdar winning the first transparent and competitive tendered solar power public-private partnership.”
Financial close is expected by the end of the first quarter in 2020, and the construction of the solar plant is estimated to take a year.
Scaling Solar brings together a suite of World Bank Group services, making it easier for governments to quickly procure and develop large-scale solar projects with private financing.
So far, Scaling Solar is supporting the development of more than 1.5 GW of solar photovoltaic power in Zambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. The programme offers competitive bidding and simplified procurement for grid-tied photovoltaic power, even in small markets.
Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s CEO said: “Scaling Solar has successfully crowded in private investment in sub-Saharan Africa’s renewables market and its comprehensive and templated approach has enormous potential in Uzbekistan and other markets.”
Masdar has more than a decade of experience as a renewable energy developer and investor, working in partnership with business and government.
Active in more than 25 countries, it is one of the largest developers of renewable energy projects in the Middle East. It is a leading developer and operator of utility-scale as well as off-grid renewable energy projects.
Last month, it became the first commercial investor in the UK government’s £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), with an investment of £35 million matched by the UK government.