IFC talks development of solar photovoltaic parks in Uzbekistan

IFC talks development of solar photovoltaic parks in Uzbekistan

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 5

By Ilkin Seyfaddini - Trend:

International Financial Corporation (IFC) supports the government of Uzbekistan to structure public-private partnerships (PPPs) that will best attract qualified private-sector investors to participate in transparent and open bidding processes to develop various projects, Regional Manager for Central Asia of IFC Cassandra Colbert told Trend.

"We are working on this closely with the World Bank, which is assisting the government to implement a broad range of reforms in the power sector," she said.

As Colbert noted, IFC is advising the government on a PPP for construction of two photovoltaic power plants of capacity of 200 MW each in Samarkand and Jizzakh regions. The project received 84 expressions of interest (EOIs) before the March 21, 2020 deadline. The companies that submitted EOIs and satisfy all criteria of request for qualification (RFQ) document, will be invited to request for proposal (RFP) stage.

"In addition, IFC is working with the government to plan future projects. In March, we organized a workshop on structuring of PPPs to develop solar photovoltaic (PV) parks with battery energy-storage systems; this was for officers from the ministries and state agencies working to attract investment in the energy sector. The workshop provided insights into - and discussed - the PPP structure for the proposed stations, which will generate a total of 500 MW of power. The new power stations will be the first of their kind in Uzbekistan as they will combine solar PVs with battery energy-storage systems," Colbert stated.

She stressed that IFC is also helping the government structure and tender a PPP to develop a 1,200-1,500 MW gas-fired power plant in the Syrdarya region.

"This is an important project for both IFC and Uzbekistan. This large-scale PPP will help modernize Uzbekistan's aging power infrastructure and supply both residents and businesses with steady electricity. It will also significantly increase efficiency of the use of gas, contributing to reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. The new equipment will make the power sector more flexible, creating a better environment to introduce intermittent renewable-energy sources," she said.

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global institution dedicated to supporting the private sector in emerging markets. The corporation works with more than 2,000 private enterprises around the world.

In fiscal year 2019, the company provided more than $19 billion in long-term funding to developing countries. In doing so, the corporation has attracted the strong potential of the private sector to eradicate extreme poverty and improve global prosperity.

Recently, IFC and Ipak Yuli Bank of Uzbekistan signed an agreement allowing the bank to better manage currency risks and increase local currency financing for small and medium-sized enterprises, which play a key role in the economic development of Uzbekistan.

"The agreement shows that IFC is standing by its partner banks and is ready to support them in all circumstances. Ipak Yuli Bank can better manage its currency risk and continue lending in local currency to firms that need funding. This is critically important at a time when businesses are suffering currency vulnerabilities due to the global impact of the COVID-19 crises," Colbert stated.

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