Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar said it finalised the financing for a 100-megawatt solar plant it is developing in Uzbekistan.
Loan and guarantee agreements to finance the Nur Navoi plant were signed between Masdar and Uzbekistan’s ministry of investments and foreign trade as well as the International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the company said on Wednesday.
Nur Navoi is the country’s first successfully financed independent power producer (IPP) solar project.
“This project will serve as a benchmark for the country as it looks to transform its energy sector and drive sustainable recovery," Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar, said.
The project was awarded to Masdar last year after it tendered the lowest tariff in a competitive auction. Masdar subsequently signed a power purchase agreement and government support accord with National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan to design, finance, build, own and operate the solar plant, located in the Navoi region.
Masdar also established Nur Navoi Solar as the local project company to deliver the photovoltaic plant, which is scheduled to start operations in the third quarter of 2021. The new project company will also operate and maintain the plant for 25 years.
The project “will drive the development of Uzbekistan’s independent power producer market, and enable us to increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix”, Shukhrat Vafaev, deputy minister of investments and foreign trade of Uzbekistan, said. “By opening new markets for private investment, we can support energy sector reform, integrate renewables into the grid and address climate change challenges.”
Masdar, which is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Compay, is active in more than 30 countries, including the UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the US, Australia and other countries.
Masdar will also pursue new renewable energy projects as part of a wider collaboration between Uzbekistan and Mubadala Investment Company, the company said. Masdar is currently developing a 500-megawatt wind farm project in Zarafshon district of Uzbekistan.
Earlier this month, Masdar announced a joint venture with a subsidiary of Indonesia’s electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara to develop the 145-megawatt floating photovoltaic power plant in Cirata reservoir in West Java with a total investment of $100 million.