UZBEKISTAN – Uzbekistan has in October this year, signed a mandate with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to develop up to 900 megawatts of solar power through public-private partnerships (PPPs).

The move is a testament of the country’s dedication towards diversification of its energy matrix and is in line with its target to develop up to 5 gigawatts of solar power by 2030.

The signing follows the announcement of the winning bidder in the country’s first solar PPP for 100 megawatts earlier this month, which achieved a highly competitive tariff of just 2.7 US cents per kilowatt hour.

“The first solar PPP has set a benchmark for solar prices in our country,” said Shukhrat Vafaev, Uzbekistan’s Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade. 

“We are confident that with the help of IFC we can replicate this success in the next rounds and again attract high-quality private players to develop and finance these projects,” added Vafaev.

In the coming months, Uzbekistan will launch a PPP tender for two solar projects of up to 200 megawatts each, followed by another round for the remaining 500 megawatts, a statement from the IFC revealed.

“I am pleased to see the government moving quickly to tender another 900MW of solar power, which will help attract close to a billion dollars of private investment and generate reliable and clean energy for the country’s people,” said Georgina Baker, IFC Vice President, Latin American and the Caribbean and Europe and Central Asia

“The announcement of the two additional PPP projects immediately after the success of the first solar tender is a testament to Uzbekistan’s commitment to embrace the private sector,” Baker added.

As transaction adviser, IFC helped the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Energy to design and tender the first PPP.

The tender according to the IFC, attracted eleven prequalified bidders and five competitive bids. This robust investor interest was groundbreaking in a country where the energy sector was traditionally state-run.

At the same time, the World Bank has been working closely with the Government on key policy issues in the energy sector such as tariff reform, renewable energy development and investment planning.