Afghan 15.1MW scheme enlists development financiers

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Afghanistan is home to 3MW of solar capacity but has potential for 220GW (Credit: Flickr / Carl Montgomery)

A utility-scale solar project in Afghanistan has made strides after bagging loans from multilateral and Canadian development institutions.

Turkey’s 77 Group recently secured a US$4 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build a 15.1MW farm at Kandahar, in the country's south. 

The PV project will also be backed via a separate US$3.85 million loan, which ADB will administer on behalf of Canada-funded concessional lender CFPS II.

Cleared for construction in February 2018, the Kandahar scheme is designed to supply 27.5GWh and avoid 8,500 CO2 tonnes every year.

The project signed 20-year PPAs with state utility DABS and is backed under a public-private partnership, signed last year in the presence of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.

The Kandahar scheme looks set to boost a largely dormant PV ecosystem in war-torn Afghanistan, where grid connection is thought to only extend to roughly one-in-three citizens.

As ADB itself noted, the landlocked Asian state has potential for 220GW of solar but is currently only home to 3MW in installed solar generation capacity, a paltry 1% of the energy mix.

The pipeline has steadily swollen in recent years, however. Last February, the 77 Group project was cleared for construction alongside a second 15MW scheme also in Kandahar, to be delivered by local firm ZEFA.

Elsewhere, work is progressing for a 40MW project backed by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, as well as an ADB-backed 20MW scheme and a 5MW project in Ghor. In parallel, the country is working on a 2GW solar EOI and a pay-as-you-go solar-plus-storage programme for off-grid citizens.  

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
September 10, 2021
With inaccurate irradiation data potentially impacting profitability estimates of PV projects in Africa, calls have been made for solar players to invest in more accurate measurement tools and work together to support the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector’s growth.
September 3, 2021
Uzbekistan has started the request for qualification stage for a solar tender that will support three projects totalling up to 500MW, including one paired with a battery energy storage system.
July 6, 2021
Construction risks may have escalated post-COVID and challenges around power purchase agreements (PPAs) remain, however banks in Asia remain committed to lending to solar projects.
June 14, 2021
Asia boasts a growing number of markets with solar development pipelines in excess of 1GW, a new report by Fitch has found, with the region dominating the consultancy’s project database analysis this year.
June 3, 2021
Abu Dhabi-based Masdar has won a tender to build a 457MW solar plant in Uzbekistan, taking the developer’s awarded PV capacity through the country’s tenders to almost 1GW.
May 26, 2021
Swiss infrastructure fund manager SUSI Partners has raised US$81 million to tap into the fast-growing renewables sector in Southeast Asia.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021