27 Feb 2018 19:01

Uzbekistan may seek foreign investors for solar energy project

TASHKENT. Feb 27 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan may attract foreign investors for construction of a 100-megawatt solar power plant in Samarqand region on a state-private partnership basis, an Uzbekenergo representative told Interfax.

The project implementation mechanism is currently undergoing a thorough overhaul, the representative said.

The result of the tender to select the general contractor for the solar plant construction - which was won by Chinese Zhuhai Singyes Green Building Technology Co, Ltd - has been canceled. The project's feasibility study is being reviewed, including the technological portion, to incorporate new developments in solar power, as well as the financing arrangement, which previously stipulated a loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The project will be partially financed directly by the foreign investor participating in the state-private partnership, whose form has yet to be determined. After completing construction, the foreign partner will participate in management of the power plant and sale of electricity.

Uzbekistan planned to build a first solar power plant in Samarqand, with design capacity of 100 MW, generating 150 million kilowatt-hours a year. Construction was initially scheduled to begin in 2015. However, that date was subsequently moved back a number of times. The project was estimated to cost $275.8 million. The project was to be financed with a loan of $110 million from the ADB, a loan from Uzbekistan Reconstruction and Development Fund and Uzbekenergo's internal resources.

Uzbekistan currently plans to build two other 100-MW solar power plants, in the Navoiy and Surxondaryo regions.