Uzbek energy ministry talks active energy projects with foreign involvement

Uzbek energy ministry talks active energy projects with foreign involvement

BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 6

By Ilkin Seyfaddini – Trend:

The Ministry of Energy is taking active measures to implement major projects in the renewable energy sector in order to increase its share to 25 percent by 2030, Trend reports citing the press service of the Ministry of Energy.

Currently, the share of renewable energy in total electricity production is 10 percent, the message said.

Within 10 years it is planned to build solar power plants with a total capacity of 5,000 MW and wind power plants with a total capacity of 3,000 MW. For this purpose, the Ministry of Energy with the assistance of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is currently implementing a set of measures for competitive selection of investors for launching these projects, which will be implemented through foreign direct investment.

By the end of 2021 two photovoltaic (solar) power plants of 100 MW each are planned to be commissioned in Uzbekistan, the message said.

In this direction, the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan with the participation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is implementing a "Scaling Solar II" project for the construction of photovoltaic (solar) power plants on the basis of public-private partnership program.

In 2019 the first stage of international tenders was held in Uzbekistan with IFC support, the results of which were announced on October 4. The tender was held for construction of the first 100 MW plant in Navoi region.

The first stage of the international tender was attended by 23 companies from China, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India, South Africa, Russia, Spain, Norway and France, of which 11 companies were pre-qualified.

Tender bids were submitted by Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia); Jinko Power and Aljoimah Energy & Water Consortium (China/Saudi Arabia); Masdar (UAE); TBEA Xinjianing Sunoasis Co Ltd (China) and Total Eren (France).

Based on the results of examination and evaluation of technical and commercial proposals of the bidders, the tender committee declared Masdar Company (UAE) the winner of the first stage of the international tender with the tariff of 2,679 US cents for 1 kWh of generated electricity and construction period of 12 months. Experts estimate that the solar power plant will produce 260 million kWh of electricity per year.

Since the beginning of this year, work has been underway to organize the second stage of bidding for this project. Within "Scaling Solar II", a tender has been announced for the construction of two photovoltaic power plants (PES) with a capacity of 200 mW each in Samarkand and Jizzakh regions of Uzbekistan. Given the effectiveness of the first tender, it is expected that the number of participants will increase as a result of the second tender, which will enable to achieve even greater tariff reductions, the message said.

It should also be noted that a project on construction of wind power plants in Uzbekistan will be implemented with participation of Masdar company. It is planned to build wind generators with total capacity of 500 MW near Zarafshan.

The EBRD also provides effective support to the Government of Uzbekistan in developing wind energy projects with a total capacity of 1,000 MW. A tender for 100 MW in Karakalpakstan will soon be announced.

With the support of the Asian Development Bank, on February 1, 2020 the Ministry of Energy announced the launch of the first pilot project to build a photovoltaic stations in Sherabad district of Surkhandarya region.

According to the project, a solar power plant with capacity of at least 200 mW AC will be built, including a new 220 kV substation and a 52 km long power line to connect to the 500 kV Surkhan substation.

To date, 54 companies have applied for participation in the tender, which proves the strong growth of investor interest in Uzbekistan's renewable energy projects. In addition, the geography of bidders has expanded to include new companies, including those from European countries.

The ADB assists the government of Uzbekistan in the implementation of fundamental reforms in the energy sector, including studies aimed at the development of solar energy in the country, starting from the opening of the Solar Energy Institute in 2013, adoption of the Roadmap for the development of solar energy in 2014.

At the same time, Uzbekistan actively conducts direct negotiations with major companies that have offered good conditions for their participation in renewable energy projects.

In particular, Total Eren (France) will build a photovoltaic station in Nurabad district of Samarkand region. The relevant agreement on construction and operation of the plant with a total capacity of 100 MW was signed in September 2019. The legal basis of this project was the agreement and the corresponding decision during the official visit of President of Uzbekistan to France in October 2018.

An agreement was signed with ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia) on the construction of a wind farm with a capacity of 500-1000 MW. The investment will amount to $550 million -$1.1 billion. The commissioning date of the wind power plant is scheduled for 2023.

The number of renewable energy projects being implemented in Uzbekistan in stages is constantly growing. Investor proposals for these projects, none of which imply the provision of state guarantees, eloquently testify to the significant growth in the interest of major players in the energy market in serious work in Uzbekistan.

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Follow author on Twitter: @seyfaddini

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