The Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from international investors to develop nearly 400 MW of solar independent power producer (IPP) projects in the regions of Samarkand and Jizzakh.
Each solar project will have a capacity of approximately 200 MW. The last date for the submission of interest is March 21, 2020. The scope of work includes the development, finance, construction, and operation of the two solar projects.
The successful bidder needs to sign the power purchase agreement (PPA) for 25 years. At the Samarkand site, the project will be in the Kattakurgan district. Out of the 500 hectares of available land, 450 hectares will be used for the project.
In the Jizzakh region, the project will be located at the Gallaorol district. Out of the 597 hectares of available land, 540 hectares will be used for the project.
Despite having significant solar potential, Uzbekistan is highly dependent on natural gas for its electricity generation. The government aims to develop renewable energy to diversify the country’s energy mix and attract private investment in the sector. It has initiated an energy strategy to increase the share of renewable energy generation up to 5 GW over the next ten years.
As part of these reforms, the government has involved the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, as the lead transaction advisor to assist them in structuring and tendering of up to 900 MW solar PV projects.
According to the official document, over the next five years, the government estimates that more than $2.8 billion will be required to upgrade the existing infrastructure while adding new power generation could cost as much as $14.4 billion.
To reduce the burden on the state budget, as well as to enhance the flow of technology and know-how into the country, the government is looking to attract foreign investors to a sector that, until recently, was largely off-limits to foreign investments.
In October 2019, Masdar (or Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) announced it had won the bid to develop Uzbekistan’s first public-private partnership solar project under the IFC’s “Scaling Solar” program.
In February 2019, Uzbekenergo JSC, a government-owned power utility, issued a request for selection for 100 MW of grid-connected solar projects to be developed in Navoi Oblast.
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.