The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has signed three new project finance loan agreements in the aggregate amount of $83.6 million as part of a $396.4 million debt financing to Masdar for the construction of three greenfield solar PV power plants in Samarkand Djizzakh and Surkhandarya regions of Uzbekistan.
Masdar has said that the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank are also supporting the financing.
According to Masdar, this agreement marks the first renewable energy project of AIIB and second private sector engagement in Uzbekistan, in line with Green Infrastructure thematic priority of AIIB.
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. Masdar mentioned that 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.
Konstantin Limitovskiy, VP for Investment Operations, AIIB, said, “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 help 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, CFO, Masdar, stated, “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.”
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.
AIIB’s Work In Progress
These agreements follow the recent signing of a Joint Declaration for a 2023-2026 project pipeline between the Government of Uzbekistan and AIIB. To date, AIIB has approved 11 projects in Uzbekistan, amounting to USD2.16 billion across water, energy, urban, transport and healthcare sectors.