Masdar to build $100 million solar project in Uzbekistan

The construction of the project to start in second quarter of 2020

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar will build a $100 million (Dh367.2m) solar power project in Uzbekistan after it submitted the lowest tariff, according to the company.

Masdar tendered 2.679 US cents per kilowatt hour in the programme's competitive auction to develop the 100-megawatt utility-scale photo-voltaic solar plant, which will be located in the Navoi region.

"Today's signing is a historic milestone for Uzbekistan and its ambitions to diversify its energy mix," said Mohamed Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar. "At Masdar, we have an impressive track record in helping emerging markets to unlock the growth potential of renewable energy, not only in terms of attracting investment into the modernisation of their energy infrastructure but also their wider economy,"
he added.

As per the agreement, Masdar will design, finance, build and operate the country’s first public-private partnership solar plant for 25 years. The construction of the project will start in the second quarter of 2020, with commissioning scheduled for the second quarter of 2021.

The International Finance Corporation helped Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Energy to design and tender the PPP, which attracted more than 40 bidders, under its Scaling Solar programme.

"We will continue to implement such projects in a transparent and competitive manner to find the solutions, which are the most acceptable for the benefit of Uzbekistan," said Sardor Umurzakov, Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade.

Uzbekistan, which borders large oil and gas producers Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, has hydrocarbon reserves but is not a massive operator in the sector. The country has an ambitious plan to develop 5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 to diversify its power mix, with the IFC’s Scaling Solar scheme expected to help install at least 1GW of capacity.