French company attracts $12.7 million funding for Kazakhstan solar project

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said it will fund Urbasolar’s planned 14 MW Zadarya solar PV project to the tune of around $8.8 million. The Clean Technology Fund is expected to lend up to a further $3.9 million.

The plant will be installed by a special purpose company, Kaz Green Tek Solar LLP, which is majority owned by Urbasolar, in the South Kazakhstan region, near the city of Shymkent.

According to Urbasolar’s website, the plant will be constructed across two phases over a nine month period, and will comprise over 54,000 270 W solar PV panels. Thirty hectares have been leased for a period of 18 years on state reserve land, which is said to be used by Zadarya residents for the non-intensive herding of livestock.

Loan agreements and a project support agreement were signed at the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA’s) 8th annual Assembly in Abu Dhabi, on January 13.

“The project support agreement … comes only half a year after a project signed at the opening of EXPO 2017 in Astana, which demonstrates the country’s commitment to making progress in the renewables sector,” said Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources.

Arnaud Mine, President of Urbasolar, added, “We believe that photovoltaic technology will play a significant role in electricity production in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. This project will demonstrate the technical performance and economic viability of such a plant. We have been working for four years to prepare this project, and collaboration with the EBRD and the local partners is key to its success, as well as to that of future developments.”

The EBRD said the total amount of existing and planned renewable energy capacity in Kazakhstan is now sitting at 365 MW.

Last October, the EBRD said it received around $110 million in funds from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), an international fund financed by 194 governments that supports investments in low-emission and climate-resilient developments in developing countries, for its Kazakhstan Renewables Framework, which is expected to raise investments totaling $200 million.

Meanwhile, in August the bank said it was planning to release financing totaling $26 million to Indian solar developer, ACME Cleantech Solutions for the development of a 29 MW solar PV plant in Kazakhstan.

It further agreed to co-finance the construction of a 50 MW solar plant in Kazakhstan with a loan of up to $28 million, last June, in addition to two other, 50 MW PV plants, both in the southern region of Zhambyl.

To date, says the EBRD, it has invested over $8.7 billion in Kazakhstan’s economy, including in greener transport, agriculture and industry.