Baku, Azerbaijan, June 22
By Fakhri Vakilov –Trend:
Uzbekistan became the fifth country to join the Scaling Solar program, which made it possible for the first time to expand this World Bank Group program beyond the African continent, Trend reports via Uzbek media.
Scaling Solar is a World Bank Group solution that makes it easier for governments to purchase and develop large-scale privately financed solar projects. It includes a comprehensive package consisting of technical assistance, standardized documents, pre-approved financing, insurance products and guarantees.
Scaling Solar is funded by the Private Infrastructure Development Group, the UK Department for International Development, USAID Power Africa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Uzbekistan expects to bring the production of solar energy to 1 gigawatt. It was decided to use the approach of the Scaling Solar program for this purpose.
In May 2018, the Government of Uzbekistan signed an agreement with International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on structuring a public-private partnership (PPP) project to attract a private investor to finance, build and operate a 100-megawatt photovoltaic station in Navoi region. Now the government has issued a request for submission of proposals from pre-qualified bidders, which are using Scaling Solar.
“It is gratifying that this announcement entails an expansion of the Scaling Solar program in Central Asia,” said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC's general director. "Scaling Solar has successfully attracted private investment in the renewable energy market in sub-Saharan Africa, and its comprehensive and standardized approach represents a huge potential for Uzbekistan and other markets."
Uzbekistan’s energy sector is highly dependent on natural gas, which accounts for 82 percent of the country's electricity production. The government seeks to develop the renewable energy sector in order to diversify the country's energy sector and attract private investment.
“The development of renewable energy in Uzbekistan is crucial for diversifying our energy supply. We look forward to working with private sector developers participating in the Scaling Solar program to quickly develop our solar energy resources at low cost,” Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan, Alisher Sultanov said.
The project is located in the Navoi region in southwest Uzbekistan. Eleven companies that have already passed the preliminary qualification are invited to submit their proposals. Results are expected by Q3 2019. The project is implemented with the support of the Ministry of Finance of Austria and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
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