The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has signed three new project finance loan agreements in the aggregate amount of USD83.6 million as part of a USD 396.4 million debt financing to Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC (Masdar) for the construction of three greenfields solar PV power plants in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand, Djizzakh, and Surkhandarya regions. The Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Investment Bank are also supporting the financing.
The signing marks AIIB’s first renewable energy project and second private sector engagement in Uzbekistan, in line with AIIB’s Green Infrastructure thematic priority.
These three solar PV plants contribute to Uzbekistan’s National Strategy for the Transition to a Green Economy which aims to install over 7 GW of solar capacity by 2030. Once completed, the projects’ combined size will reach 897 MW, also making it one of the larger solar PV developments in the region.
The three plants combined are expected to generate green electricity to supply over one million households and help reduce emissions by close to one million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year on average.
“With this project, AIIB seeks to address the urgent need to meet the energy demand of the fast-growing population of Uzbekistan,” said Konstantin Limitovskiy, AIIB’s Vice President for Investment Operations (Region 2: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, East Asia, West Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America). “This has become particularly salient in the past winter when the sudden drop in temperatures resulted in energy and electricity shortages across the country. AIIB is committed to helping Uzbekistan build Infrastructure for Tomorrow, including by mobilizing private capital, to assist the country’s healthy long-term economic development, which in turn would enhance regional connectivity in Central Asia.”
Niall Hannigan, Chief Financial Officer, Masdar, said, “Reaching this milestone for all three projects is a proud moment for Masdar and a key stage for Uzbekistan’s clean energy journey. Masdar is already playing a significant role in supporting the Government of Uzbekistan’s ambitious renewable energy objectives, and we look forward to continuing to grow our portfolio of projects in this key strategic market. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of the Government of Uzbekistan, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), as well as our financial partners, who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to driving sustainable economic growth for the people of Uzbekistan.”
At the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh last year, both AIIB and Masdar also signed respective statements to participate in the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing Platform (ETAF), IRENA’s global climate finance platform aimed at mobilizing capital to scale up renewable energy project funding in developing countries by 2030.