07 Apr 2023

Masdar Secures Financial Close On Uzbekistan’s Largest Solar Development Program With 900MW Capacity

07 Apr 2023  by   

Construction to begin in first half of this year on Sherabad, Samarkand and Jizzakh Solar Projects, which have a combined capacity of around 900 megawatts – largest solar development program in Central Asia

Masdar, a leading clean energy company, has achieved financial close on three solar photovoltaic projects in Uzbekistan, marking the largest solar development program in the region with a combined capacity of around 900 MW.

Financing for the projects is being provided by major international banks, while Masdar has committed capital to the projects under the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing initiative.

With a goal of meeting 25 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030, Uzbekistan is targeting the development of 7 GW of solar and 5 GW of wind capacity.

Masdar is already making significant contributions to Uzbekistan’s clean energy objectives, having successfully financed the Nur Navoi Solar project and the Zarafshan wind project in recent years.

Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Investment Bank are providing financing for the project.

Additionally, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FMO, and ILX are acting as B loan participants.

Niall Hannigan, Chief Financial Officer of Masdar, expressed pride in reaching this significant milestone for all three projects.

Hannigan added, “Masdar is already playing a significant role in supporting the Government of Uzbekistan’s ambitious renewable energy objectives, and we look forward to continuing to grow our portfolio of projects in this key strategic market.” He also thanked the Government of Uzbekistan, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the financial partners for their unwavering commitment to driving sustainable economic growth in Uzbekistan.

In 2021, Masdar signed agreements with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investments, Industry and Trade, and the JSC National Electric Grid to design, finance, build and operate three utility-scale solar projects.

The projects include the 457 MW Sherabad Solar Project, and the Samarkand and Jizzakh solar projects, which have a capacity of 220 MW each. The projects are expected to begin operations in 2024.

The projects will produce enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes, while displacing more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Uzbekistan is targeting the development of 7 GW of solar and 5 GW of wind capacity by 2030, as it looks to meet 25 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by that year.

Masdar has been making an active contribution to Uzbekistan’s clean energy objectives. The 100 MW Nur Navoi Solar project, which is the nation’s first successfully financed independent power producer solar project, has been operational since 2021.

Last year, Masdar achieved financial close on the 500 MW Zarafshan wind project, Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale wind farm and the largest in Central Asia. Masdar was also awarded the Bukhara Solar PV project at the end of last year, which includes 250 MW solar PV capacity and a 62 MW battery energy storage system.

Masdar signed an agreement during last year’s COP27 climate conference to join IRENA’s Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform, with the intention of potentially deploying up to US$200 million equity investment on renewable energy projects.

Masdar and AIIB have committed capital to the Uzbekistan projects under the ETAF initiative. ETAF is a multi-stakeholder climate finance platform, targeting the deployment of 5 gigawatts of new renewable power in developing countries by 2030.

With a goal of achieving 100 GW renewable energy capacity and green hydrogen production of 1 million tonnes per annum annually by 2030, Masdar is one of the largest clean energy companies of its kind. The new Masdar is a clean energy powerhouse that will spearhead the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and drive the global energy transition.

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