Masdar, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, announced the financial close of the Nur Navoi Solar Project – Uzbekistan’s first successfully-financed independent power producer (IPP) solar project.
Loan and guarantee agreements to finance the 100-megawatt photovoltaic plant were signed in a virtual ceremony with representatives from Masdar, Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade (MIFT), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group (WBG) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
“This landmark project will drive the development of Uzbekistan’s independent power producer market, and enable us to increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix,” said Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan. “By opening new markets for private investment we can support energy sector reform, integrate renewables into the grid and address climate change challenges.”
“This financial close represents a major milestone for not only the Nur Navoi Solar Project but for Uzbekistan’s renewable energy objectives,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar. “Masdar has been a catalyst for renewable energy and clean-tech innovation in more than 30 countries around the world, and we are committed to supporting Uzbekistan in its energy transition. This project will serve as a benchmark for the country as it looks to transform its energy sector and drive sustainable recovery.”
The Nur Navoi Solar Project was awarded to Masdar last year under the WBG’s Scaling Solar program, with Masdar tendering the lowest tariff in a competitive auction. In November 2019, Masdar signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) and government support agreement (GSA) with JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan (NEGU) and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to design, finance, build, own and operate the solar plant, located in the Navoi region.
Masdar established Nur Navoi Solar FE LLC as the local project company to deliver the PV plant, which is scheduled to start operations in the third quarter of 2021. The project company will also operate and maintain the plant for 25 years.
Separately from this project, Masdar and the Government of Uzbekistan have agreed to pursue renewable energy projects together as part of a wider collaboration between Uzbekistan and Mubadala Investment Company across three key strategic energy sectors, including renewables.
In June this year, Masdar signed an agreement with the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan to design, finance, build and operate a 500-megawatt utility-scale wind farm project, to be located in the Zarafshon district of the Navoi Region. Commercial operation is expected to begin in 2024.