By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Uzbekistan plans to attract over $ 1 billion in the form of private investment to construct solar power plants (SPPs), Uzbek media reported.
A conference for potential investors on the construction of the first solar power plant in the format of a public-private partnership (PPP) was held in Tashkent. Representatives of 22 major energy companies and international financial organizations arrived in Uzbekistan to participate in it.
The first pilot power plant under PPP conditions with a capacity of up to 100 MW is planned to be built in the Navoi region. This is only the first phase of the initiative to bring the total capacity of photovoltaic plants to 1,000 MW.
"Potential investors were provided with information on the legal aspects of the project to launch a solar power plant on a PPP basis. It was noted that investors are planned to be selected by a transparent and competitive tender, they will be able to conclude a land lease agreement, as well as a concession agreement, to exploit and use the main assets of the power plant," the State Investment Committee said.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed an agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan to attract private sector investment in the renewable energy sector of Uzbekistan in May 2018.
IFC acts as a consultant to the government and Uzbekenergo on the structuring of PPP, with the aim of mobilizing experience in attracting private investment for the construction and operation of a 100 MW solar power plant in the Navoi region.
The joint project of IFC, the State Committee on Investments and JSC "Uzbekenergo" aim to attract more than $ 1 billion in private investment in the development of solar photovoltaic stations.
This will allow not only to improve the energy supply of the country but also to create a transparent and simplified mechanism for attracting investments, aimed further at the implementation of investment projects in other industries.
Earlier, Uzbekistan announced its plans to build five solar photovoltaic stations with a total capacity of 500 MW and a preliminary cost of more than $1.1 billion by 2021. Experts estimate that the total potential of solar energy in the republic exceeds 51 billion tons of oil equivalent.
Uzbekistan is the largest electricity producer in Central Asia. Total installed capacity of Uzbekistan’s power plants exceeds 12.4 GW. Twelve thermal power plants, with a combined capacity of over 10.7 GW, and 31 hydro power plants, with a combined capacity of 1.7 GW, belonging to the Uzbekenergo, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Mining and Metallurgical Company Almalyk and the Uzkhimprom Association, constitute the backbone of the electricity sector.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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