Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, one of the world's leading renewable energy companies, has broken ground on a key utility-scale wind farm project in Uzbekistan, the first-of-its-kind project – with a capacity of upto 1.5 gigawatts (GW).
The company had entered into bilateral agreements with Uzbekistan last year to develop, build and operate the 500-megawatt (MW) wind farm project, its second utility-scale clean energy project in the country, and the largest wind farm in Central Asia.
According to Masdar, this project will attract foreign direct investment of more than $600 million.
Extending the capacity of the project, located in the Zarafshan district of the Navoi region, to as much as 1.5 GW will further help Uzbekistan achieve its objectives of adding up to 3 GW of wind energy and meeting 25 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by the end of the decade.
The 500 MW Zarafshan wind farm is expected to begin commercial operation by the end of 2024. At a capacity of 500 MW, the project would provide enough electricity to power 500,000 homes, while displacing 1.1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
it signed an Implementation Agreement with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to extend the capacity of its utility-scale wind farm project – the first such project in Uzbekistan – to up to 1.5 gigawatts (GW).
Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade for the Republic of Uzbekistan, said: "Mobilization of renewable energy potential in Uzbekistan would provide significant contribution to sustainable economic growth and fighting climate change."
"Along with that, expansion of clean power generation capacities by Masdar will support our objective to double the volume of electricity generation by 2030. Masdar will become a strong bridge connecting our countries, through which new Emirati companies will also invest in Uzbekistan," he stated.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said: "For the UAE it is important that our actions on climate can help amplify the efforts of others around the world. This partnership is a clear example of how we are putting that tenet into practice."
"Together, we have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage our collective climate action to enhance sustainable growth in Uzbekistan, while making real progress on global climate goals," he stated.
Minister of Energy Alisher Sultanov said, "We value our partnership with Masdar and welcome this expansion, which will be the largest facility of its kind in our region. This is a vitally important project for Uzbekistan, helping us build towards our target of 25 percent of electricity generated by renewables by 2030."
UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail Al Mazrouei, said: "Today's landmark agreement will enhance co-operation between the two countries in the field of renewable energy. As signatories to the Paris Agreement, Uzbekistan and the UAE are committed to driving collective action on climate."
"We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Uzbekistan further by developing more clean energy projects with them in future," he added.
Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: "Today's event highlights the significant progress we have made, not only on this project but in helping the Uzbeg government to achieve its clean-energy and climate change objectives."
Last December, Masdar had announced financial close on the 100 MW Nur Navoi Solar Project – Uzbekistan's first successfully-financed independent power producer (IPP) solar project.
The Abu Dhabi group had signed a PPA and Government Support Agreement with the Uzbeg government in November 2019 to design, finance, build and operate the solar plant.
Masdar was announced as the winning bidder for the solar project after tendering the lowest tariff of 2.679 US cents per kilowatt hour in a competitive auction.
"As a global leader in the development of utility-scale wind power, Masdar is proud to support Uzbekistan's low-carbon energy strategy, and to strengthen our partnership with the Government to drive sustainable development," he added.-TradeArabia News Service