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16 April 2024

Masdar achieves financial close on three solar projects in Uzbekistan

Masdar celebrates fifth anniversary of flagship Middle East solar energy project Shams 1 Image used for illustrative purpose.

Published
By WAM

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) announced today it has achieved financial close on three solar photovoltaic (PV) projects it is developing in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Construction will begin imminently on the plants, which will have a combined capacity of around 900 megawatts – the largest solar development programme in the region.

Financing for the projects is being provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FMO, and ILX are acting as B loan participants.

Niall Hannigan, Chief Financial Officer, Masdar, said, “Reaching this milestone for all three projects is a proud moment for Masdar and a key stage for Uzbekistan’s clean energy journey. Masdar is already playing a significant role in supporting the Government of Uzbekistan’s ambitious renewable energy objectives, and we look forward to continuing to grow our portfolio of projects in this key strategic market.

This achievement would not have been possible without the support of the Government of Uzbekistan, and the International Renewable Energy Agency, and the financial partners, he added.

Masdar signed an agreement during last year’s COP27 climate conference to join IRENA’s Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform, with the intention of potentially deploying up to US$200 million equity investment on renewable energy projects.

Masdar and AIIB have committed capital to the Uzbekistan projects under the ETAF initiative. ETAF is a multi-stakeholder climate finance platform, targeting the deployment of 5 gigawatts of new renewable power in developing countries by 2030.

In 2021, Masdar signed agreements with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investments, Industry, and Trade, and the JSC National Electric Grid to design, finance, build and operate three utility-scale solar projects – the 457 MW Sherabad Solar Project, and the Samarkand and Jizzakh solar projects, which have a capacity of 220 MW each. Combined, the projects will produce enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes, while displacing more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. The projects are expected to begin operations in 2024.

Masdar is already making an active contribution to Uzbekistan’s clean energy objectives, with the 100 MW Nur Navoi Solar project – the nation’s first successfully financed independent power producer solar project – has been operational since 2021.

Last year, Masdar achieved financial close on the 500 MW Zarafshan wind project, Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale wind farm, and the largest in Central Asia. At the end of last year, Masdar was also awarded the Bukhara Solar PV project, which includes 250 MW solar PV capacity and a 62 MW battery energy storage system.

Uzbekistan is targeting the development of 7 GW of solar and 5 GW of wind capacity by 2030, as it looks to meet 25 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by that year.

Masdar last year announced a new shareholding structure and additional focus on green hydrogen, making it one of the largest clean energy companies of its kind. With a goal of achieving 100 GW renewable energy capacity and green hydrogen production of 1 million tonnes per annum annually by 2030, the new Masdar is a clean energy powerhouse that will spearhead the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and drive the global energy transition.