Abu Dhabi deepens investment in Uzbekistani solar


Emirati-owned renewables developer the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, referred to as Masdar, from the Arabic for ‘source', has been named as the successful bidder for both 200 MW solar projects tendered by the Uzbekistan government in February last year.

The International Finance Corp (IFC) private-sector arm of the World Bank, which helped design the tender, has announced Masdar will supply solar electricity for $0.01791/kWh from a solar farm in Samarkand, and for $0.01823/kWh in Jizzakh.

pv magazine, reporting on the launch of the tender, stated the Samarkand project would be installed in the Kattakurgan district and that the Jizzakh facility was “expected to be” developed in Gallaorol.

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The project wins represent the latest successes for Masdar in Uzbekistan after the developer – which is part of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company – last week secured the tender to supply power from a 200 MW project in Sherabad, Surkhandarya, which is expected to have an eventual generation capacity of 457 MW.

While that Sherabad award was secured through a 1 GW program run with the backing of the Asian Development Bank, Masdar also landed the contract for a 100 MW solar park in Navoi in December which will be financed with the help of a $60 million IFC loan.

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The latest, 400 MW contract win – which was announced by the IFC on Thursday, just a day after pv magazine reported the Sherabad award to Masdar – is part of the Scaling Solar program run by the World Bank which aims to drive 900 MW of solar capacity in Uzbekistan, to help the country towards its recently raised target of installing 5 GW of solar this decade.

The latest contract award, which will secure payments to Masdar under a 25-year power purchase agreement, was described by the IFC as a public-private partnership despite the state-owned nature of the winning bidder.

The Scaling Solar program in Uzbekistan is being run with the backing of the German and Swiss governments.

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