Masdar to develop 500MW of clean energy projects in Tajikistan

UAE company, through its MW Energy joint venture, makes its first foray into the Central Asian nation and is looking at solar PV, wind and hydroelectric power developments

Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, centre right, and Daler Jum’a, Tajikistan's Minister of Energy and Water Resources, centre left, during talks. Photo: Masdar
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MW Energy, a venture between UAE clean energy company Masdar and W Solar Investment, has signed an initial agreement with Tajikistan to explore clean energy projects, marking its entry into the Central Asian nation.

The public-private partnership agreement will foster collaboration in the development of renewable energy projects, the first phase of which has set a target of at least 500 megawatts of clean energy from sources such as floating solar photovoltaic, wind and hydroelectric power, Masdar said on Tuesday.

“The UAE is proud to be partnering with Tajikistan to explore cutting-edge renewable energy projects to help increase energy security and reduce carbon emissions,” said Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, who was present during the signing of the agreement.

“As the UAE looks forward to hosting Cop28, we will continue to work with nations to accelerate the path to a net-zero future.”

The Cop28 climate change conference will be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12 and is expected to be the most inclusive yet.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, is the Cop28 President-designate.

Landlocked Tajikistan is almost exclusively reliant on hydroelectric power and has several rivers, natural lakes and glaciers.

While it is home to some of the world’s largest hydroelectric power plants and is ranked eighth globally in terms of hydroelectric potential, with an estimated 527 terawatt-hours, only 4 per cent of its hydroelectric potential is being taken advantage of, according to the latest data from the International Energy Agency.

Tajikistan’s geographic proximity to some of the world’s fastest-growing energy markets means that investing in developing its hydroelectric power potential can contribute to regional energy security and the clean energy transition, in addition to addressing its high vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters, the Paris-based agency said.

The government plans a “significant increase” in power generation through the introduction of renewable energy, with the installed capacity of solar and wind stations projected to hit 700 megawatts by 2030, said Daler Jum’a, Tajikistan's Minister of Energy and Water Resources.

At present, a feasibility study on how to develop a capacity of 450MW is being carried out together with international consulting companies and with the support of international financial institutions, he said.

“This is a relatively new direction for us but, nevertheless, concrete work has already begun.”

Central Asia has become a crucial investment market for Masdar. The company has already developed a number of key projects in the region, including its largest wind farm, the 500MW Zarafshan plant in Uzbekistan.

Masdar has also reached financial close on three solar projects in Jizzakh, Samarkand and Sherabad in Uzbekistan, which have a combined capacity of about 900MW, making it the largest solar development programme in Central Asia.

UAE's first net-zero buildings

UAE's first net-zero buildings

Also in Uzbekistan, Masdar's 100MW Nur Navoi solar power project has been operational since 2021, while other developments in the pipeline include the 250MW Nur Bukhara solar power project.

“We look forward to supporting Tajikistan with its renewable energy goals and harnessing the abundant power of the nation’s sun, wind and water to generate clean energy and drive sustainable development,” said Masdar chief executive Mohamed Al Ramahi.

Last week, Masdar and Indonesia's PLN Nusantara Power signed an agreement to triple the capacity of South-East Asia's largest floating solar PV power plant, the Cirata power station in West Java, Indonesia, which will boost its capacity by up to 500MW.

Updated: October 03, 2023, 10:10 AM