By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry and the United Arab Emirates’ Masdar company have signed an investment agreement, a power purchase agreement and a transmission connection agreement on a 230-MW solar power plant.
The agreements were signed by Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, Azerenergy President Baba Rzayev and Masdar’ CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramah.
The Azerbaijani energy minister highly appreciated the project based on foreign investment in terms of addressing the global challenges, sustainable and diversified development of the country’s economy, and the objectives of reforms in the energy sector.
Moreover, Shahbazov noted that the transformation of Azerbaijan into a “green growth” country through the extensive use of renewable energy over the next 10 years has been defined by President Ilham Aliyev as one of the national priorities that will ensure the country's socio-economic development.
“By signing these contracts for a solar power plant worth about $200 million, we are one step closer to our goals for the renewable energy and carbon emissions,” he said.
“The solar power plant to be built in Baku and Absheron district will produce about 500 million kWh of electricity annually, save 110 million cubic meters of natural gas, reduce carbon emissions by 200,000 tons, create new jobs and attract other investors to new projects,” the minister added.
In turn, Azerenergy’s president underlined the importance of wind and solar energy pilot projects in the course of diversifying the energy production in Azerbaijan. He noted that the country had become an electricity exporter along with ensuring its energy security, through renewable energy sources.
Rzayev added that the connection of the 230-MW power plant, to be built by the company, to the network and the purchase of electricity generated at the plant will be performed by Azerenergy.
“The power plant will be integrated into the energy system by connecting to the 'Janub' substation. Together we will achieve timely and high-level implementation of these agreements,” he stated.
Stressing Azerbaijan’s renewable energy journey and contribution to the fight against climate change in the world through such projects, Masdar’s CEO expressed the company’s full support for this project.
“As Masdar, we are proud of being part of Azerbaijan’s first foreign investment-based solar project that is structured as a public-private partnership and being a strategic partner on the path to a cleaner and more sustainable electricity generation. Together, we will deliver an outstanding project, an icon of engineering that will create jobs and deliver lasting improvements to the country’s infrastructure and will be admired by the whole region,” Mohamed Jameel Al Ramah said.
Furthermore, a pre-recorded speeches of the UAE Industry and Advanced Technology Minister and Masdar’s Board of Directors Chairman Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and Energy and Infrastructure Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei were submitted at the event.
Industry and Advanced Technology Minister Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber stated that through the Masdar, the UAE had partnered on profitable renewable energy projects generating 11 GW of renewable energy in more than 30 countries around the world.
“And today we are proud to begin our first renewable energy project in Azerbaijan. By adding 230 MW of solar power, our partnership will not only help to achieve clean energy target but will also create knowledge, skills and jobs,” he emphasized.
Additionally, Suhail Al Mazrouei thanked President Aliyev for the opportunity to participate in the implementation of strategy on the development of renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent in Azerbaijan.
“Through the competition and fair processes that led to the signing of these important documents between Azerbaijan and Masdar, the latest technologies and reasonable prices have been attracted. We look forward to continuing our commitment to Azerbaijan by building more projects in the future,” he said.
On January 9, 2020, implementation agreements on the pilot projects in the renewable energy field were signed with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and the United Arab Emirates’ Masdar.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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