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Uzbekistan’s Energy Ministry announces financial close of wind farm

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Energy Global,

The Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan has reached financial close on a 500 MW wind farm close to the city of Zarafshan in the country’s Navoiy region.

An opening ceremony was held in Tashkent on 31 August.

The wind farm will be built by Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, based in Abu Dhabi.Upon completion, the wind farm will be Central Asia’s largest, powering 500 000 homes and replacing 1.1 million tpy of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Commercial operations are expected to commence by the end of 2024, and the government of Uzbekistan expects over US$600 million in foreign direct Investment to flow into the country regarding the project.

Masdar is a trusted partner of Uzbekistan and is currently contracted to develop an additional 890 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity at sites in the Samarkand, Jizzakh and Sherabad regions over the coming years.

Azim Akhmedkhadjayev, First Deputy Energy Minister of Uzbekistan, said: “Today, we took a leap forward in securing Uzbekistan’s clean energy future - together with our valued partner Masdar. With financial close achieved, the ambitious Zarafshan project is on track to begin commercial operations by the end of 2024, displacing 1.1 million t of CO2. Our country has vowed to satisfy 25% of its energy needs with renewables by 2030, and reach carbon neutrality in 2050. The Zarafshan project, Central Asia’s largest wind farm, will be a major contributor to these goals.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, commented: “Today we are celebrating reaching a significant milestone in this landmark project, one that takes Uzbekistan a step closer to achieving its ambitious renewable energy goals. Uzbekistan is a key strategic investment destination for Masdar, and we look forward to continuing to develop and grow our strong portfolio of projects in the nation.”

Following last year’s launch of the 100 MW Nur Navoiy PV power plant – Uzbekistan’s first independent solar power producer – the Zarafshan wind farm is the second utility-scale renewables project developed by Masdar in Uzbekistan. Power purchase agreements for the plant’s output have been in place with the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan since June 2020.

Uzbekistan’s long-term strategy to diversify its energy mix targets 8 GW of solar and wind power by 2026 and 12 GW of renewable sources by 2030.


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