7 Oct 2019 14:38

Masdar wins Uzbekistan's first competitive solar power tender, will build 100 MW plant

TASHKENT. Oct 7 (Interfax) - Masdar Clean Energy of the United Arab Emirates has won Uzbekistan's first competitive tender to build a solar power plant.

The Uzbek Energy Ministry said in a press release that Masdar won the tender with a bid to supply solar power at $0.027/kWh and committed to build a 100 MW plant in the Navoi region in Western Uzbekistan within 12 months.

Originally 23 companies from China, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Russia, France, Norway and other countries applied to bid for the opportunity to take part in the project. Eleven of them passed prequalifying and five submitted commercial bids.

The project is a private public partnership (PPP) sponsored by the World Bank's Scaling Solar program to diversify the country's energy mix.

The contract with Masdar will stipulate a minimum guaranteed volume of electricity that Uzbekistan will commit to buy, said Shukhrat Vafayev, Uzbek deputy investment and trade minister.

He did not say what the project would cost, saying this was the investor's affair. The investor " are building the plant with its own money, at its own risk and according to set parameters and quality standards, so the investment is its affair. The more they save on construction, given the fact they will be responsible for quality, the better for them," he said.

Given the success of this first tender, the government plans to call another in the near future, for the right to build solar plats with combined capacity of 400 MW in the Samarkand and Dzhizak regions under a PPP, and then another, 500 MW plant, the deputy minister said.

French renewable energy company Total Eren will invest up to 150 million euros in the construction of a photovoltaic power plant under a public private partnership in Uzbekistan's Samarkand region under an agreement signed on September 14.

Oil and gas account for 97% of Uzbekistan's primary fuel and energy resources, coal for 2.3% and hydropower for 0.7%. The country, which has around 300 days of sunshine each year, has a renewable energy potential for some 51 billion tonnes oil equivalent based on solar energy.