Masdar (or Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) has announced that it has won the bid to develop Uzbekistan’s first public-private partnership (PPP) solar project under the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) “Scaling Solar” program.
Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, will develop a 100 MW utility-scale solar project which will be located in Uzbekistan’s Navoi region.
In February 2019, Mercom reported that Uzbekenergo JSC, a government-owned power utility, had issued a request for selection (RfS) for 100 MW of grid-connected solar projects to be developed in Navoi Oblast.
In May 2018, IFC had signed a mandate with the government of Uzbekistan to increase its renewable power capacity and encourage private sector investment in Uzbekistan’s renewable energy sector.
Speaking about the upcoming Navoi solar project, Mohammad El Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said, “Masdar is honored to be named as the winning bidder for the 100 MW Navoi solar project. For more than a decade, Masdar has been a catalyst for renewable energy and clean-tech innovation in more than 25 countries, and this latest agreement underscores our shared commitment with the Uzbekistan government to help the country achieve its renewable energy ambitions.”
Despite having an abundant supply of solar energy, Uzbekistan is still dependent heavily on gas for its power generation. But things are changing for the better, and the government is doing its part by involving private players in the renewable energy sector with a public-private partnership.
This latest development comes as a part of Uzbekistan’s ambition to achieve the goal of developing 5 GW of renewable energy by 2030 and diversifying the energy space in the country. The country is planning to develop 1 GW of solar energy under the “Scaling Solar” program, and the 100 MW solar project is one such move in that direction.
Speaking about this latest development, deputy minister of investments and foreign trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shukhrat Vafaev said, “We opened new markets for private participation and set a precedent in the country with the announcement of Masdar winning the first transparent and competitive tendered solar power public-private partnership.”
As per the company statement, the financial closure is expected by the first quarter of 2020, and the construction is expected to take 12 months for completion.
Earlier this year in June, Mercom reported that the consortium comprising of EDF Renewables, Masdar, and Green of Africa won a tender for the design, financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Noor Midelt Phase 1 multi-technologies solar power project. The 800 MW project, built with concentrated solar power and photovoltaic technology, claims to be the world’s first advanced hybridization of concentrated solar power and PV technologies. The project was allocated at a record-low tariff at peak hours of 0.68 Moroccan dirhams ($0.070)/kWh.