ADB, LEAP back Mongolian utility-scale PV with US$18.7m loan

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Ulaanbaatar and its airport will use some of the 22.3GWh the project will generate (Credit: ADB)

A 15MW solar project is to be built in Mongolia with the financial support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The development financier will supply US$9.6 million of a US$18.7 million loan to the Sermsang Khushig Khundii Solar Project, with the remainder provided by ADB-managed Leading Asia's Private Sector Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).

The project slated for construction in the Khusig valley – just an hour south from Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar – will generate 22.3GWh in electricity, to be used by the city itself and its new international airport.

Aside from the PV plant, the funds will finance the addition of a 14-kilometre transmission line and upgrades to the neighbouring Khushig substation. Power will be supplied to Mongolian state-owned utility NDC under an already-signed PPA.

The solar project is being developed by Sermsang Power Corporation Public Company Limited and Tenuun Gerel Construction. ADB’s loan aside, the facility secured a technical assistance grant from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia.

The scheme will help Mongolia boost renewable capacity as it works towards targets for 2023 (20%) and 2030 (30%), in a bid to decarbonise a coal-heavy energy system that generates 60% of nation-wide greenhouse gas emissions.

This is the first private sector solar project to be backed by the ADB in the Asian country. Last September, the bank signed off US$40 million in loans to support a 41MW distributed solar-wind-storage project.

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