Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 November 2019

Abu Dhabi's Masdar wins $100m Uzbek solar scheme

The renewable energy company submitted the lowest bid for the country's first utility-scale PPP solar project

Uzbekistan has an ambitious plan to develop 5GW of renewable energy by 2030 in order to diversify its power mix. Courtesy flydubai
Uzbekistan has an ambitious plan to develop 5GW of renewable energy by 2030 in order to diversify its power mix. Courtesy flydubai

Abu Dhabi's Masdar won the bid for a $100 million (Dh367m) utility-scale solar planned project in Uzbekistan after submitting the lowest tariff, said the company's clean energy head.

The Mubadala-owned company filed a bid of little below 2.7 US cents for the 100 megawatt project, which will be the Central Asian country's first solar photovoltaic scheme developed under a public-private partnership model.

The project in Uzbekistan's Navoi region will be developed under the International Finance Corporation's Scaling Solar programme, which will fund 60 per cent of the project's cost, said Yousif Al Ali, acting executive director at Masdar for clean energy.

"The IFC, other than giving bankable documentation, they are also providing the loan. They’re giving the financing for the project," Mr Al Ali told The National.

"For us this initiative by the IFC helps us to get an assurance that we’re dealing with a high standard of implantation and we’re very comfortable with it."

Financing for the project is likely to be completed in the first quarter of 2020 with construction expected to take a year.

The investment follows the visit of the Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Abu Dhabi in March, when both sides signed partnership agreements worth $10 billion. The agreements looked at collaborations in power and renewables as well as oil and gas.

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.

The project, for which Masdar was the preferred bidder, is the country's first renewables project offered through a competitive bidding process. More investments in the sector are likely to be channelled though bilateral agreements in place between the UAE and Uzbekistan, said Mr Al Ali.

Updated: October 22, 2019 04:24 PM

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