Kazakhstan’s Akmola Region prepares to host 100 MW solar power plant

The government of Kazakhstan’s Akmola Region has announced in a press release that the Kazakh investment company KBEnterprises is planning the construction of a 100 MW solar power plant near Kabanbay, Tselinograd District, in the north of the country.

The government said the $165 million project will be built on a 300 hectare surface by the EPC contractor Sumec Clean Energy International Co. Ltd., and that construction works will be implemented with the support of Switzerland-headquartered power electronics company ABB.

Astana-based KBEnterprises is an investment firm specializing in the development of solar, wind, hydro and biomass projects. According to the Astana Times, the company is a Kazakh-Dutch-German joint venture whose largest shareholder is Global Solar Investments from the Netherlands, which owns 51% of the company.

This project will likely compete in the energy auctions expected to be held in the future, as recently announced by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy, Kanat Bozumbayev. The minister, in fact, has said that he plans to introduce an auction scheme for renewable energy. Furthermore, Bozumbayev has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), opening the country’s renewable energy market to a wider range of investors working under the EBRD’s dedicated framework.

The EBRD is also financing the construction of three more 50 MW solar parks in Kazakhstan: the Baikonur Solar park in the Kyzylorda region in the south of the country, close to the border with Uzbekistan and the the Burnoye Solar-1 and the Burnoye Solar-2 projects, both in the southern region of Zhambyl. Overall, the EBRD has agreed to provide around €200 million in funds for renewable energy financing in Kazakhstan.

Moreover, another 12 MW PV plant was announced by the central government for the Mangystau Region in May. This project is being developed by French industrial vacuum furnace manufacturer ECM Technologies, which also serves the PV industry, in partnership with unnamed Chinese partners. In mid-May, the ministry also announced the launch of Solar Resources Atlas – atlassolar.kz, a new online application for the mapping of Kazakhstan’s solar energy potential.