TASHKENT – Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, announced today that it has reached financial close for the 500 megawatt (MW) Zarafshan wind project – the first large-scale wind farm in Uzbekistan.
The announcement was made following a ceremony to mark the occasion, held in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital. Jamshid Khodjayev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, gave the opening speech for the event, with Niall Hannigan, Chief Financial Officer of Masdar, also speaking. Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade, and Sherzod Khodjaev, Uzbek Deputy Minister of Energy, were also present.
“Uzbekistan aims to get 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2026, and we are grateful to Masdar and the financial institutions that are contributing to this goal through solar, wind and other energy projects. renewable energy,” said Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Minister. investment and foreign trade. “Going forward, we will continue to work with lenders, development partners and the private sector to promote renewable energy solutions to power Uzbekistan’s green growth.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Today we celebrate a milestone in this historic project, which brings Uzbekistan closer to achieving its ambitious renewable energy goals. . Uzbekistan is a key strategic investment destination for Masdar, and we look forward to continuing to grow and grow our strong portfolio of projects in the country. »
“This achievement also would not have been possible without the support of our major lenders, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to whom we owe many thanks. We are also particularly grateful to Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), whose participation facilitates the diversification of the mix of foreign capital invested in Uzbekistan, both in inside the UAE than elsewhere,” he added.
Alongside the main lenders of the Zarafshan project, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FMO, acts as B-lender, while Etihad Credit Insurance, Natixis and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) provide insured loans for the project.
Massimo Falcioni, Managing Director of Etihad Credit Insurance, said: “We are honored and truly delighted to help the Republic of Uzbekistan achieve its clean energy goals, by providing the renewable energy champion of the United Arab Emirates, Masdar, the credit insurance facility requested to develop this historic 500 megawatt wind farm project in Zarafshan, the largest renewable energy project in Central Asia.
“With this successful financial close, Masdar confirms to be one of the fastest growing renewable energy companies in the world. This historic project financial close comes just weeks after Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, led a UAE delegation to Tashkent to sign an extension of the partnership with Uzbekistan, including other areas of strategic partnership like financial sector, education, economy, government leadership, food security and agriculture, ports and customs,” he continued.
Masdar entered into bilateral agreements with the government of Uzbekistan in 2020 to develop, build and operate the Zarafshan Wind Farm, the largest renewable energy project in Central Asia. The project is expected to attract foreign direct investment of more than $600 million and is part of Uzbekistan’s effort to meet 25% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by the end of the decade.