Masdar awarded two solar projects in Uzbekistan totalling 440MW

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Image: Masdar.

Abu Dhabi-based Masdar has secured the rights to develop two solar projects in Uzbekistan that will have a combined capacity of 440MW.

The company posted a bid to supply power at US$0.0179/kWh from a 220MW solar project in the country’s Samarkand region and another a bid of US$0.0182/kWh for a 220MW plant in the Jizzakh region.

According to Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy, 84 companies expressed initial interest in participating in the public-private partnership (PPP) tender. A total of 15 proposals were eventually received for the two projects, with Masdar posting lower bids than other participants, including ACWA Power, Total Eren, Risen Energy, Jinko Power and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

The positive result for Masdar will see the developer further expand its presence in Uzbekistan after being awarded a 100MW PV project in the country’s first solar tender in 2019. The company signed a 25-year power purchase agreement and secured a loan deals for that installation last year.

Shukhrat Vafaev, Uzbekistan’s deputy minister of investment and foreign trade, said the latest tender forms part of government efforts to increase renewable energy generation through the development of privately financed and operated renewables projects, as the country bids to reach up to 5GW installed solar by 2030.

The PPPs were tendered under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar programme, which aims to make it easier for governments to quickly procure and develop large-scale solar projects with private financing.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is the World Bank’s investment arm, helped the Uzbek government design and tender the PPPs. Wiebke Schloemer, IFC director for Europe and Central Asia, said the corporation’s work in the country will help bring clean energy to Uzbek people at competitive prices, adding: “Attracting world-class investors through these PPP tenders bolsters the government’s efforts to diversify the country’s energy mix and confirms the effectiveness of competitive and transparent procurement processes.” 

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