Masdar finances ‘central Asia’s largest wind farm’

UAE-based renewables developer Masdar has reached financial close on Uzbekistan’s first wind farm – a 500MW project in the country’s south-west.

Uzbekistan aims to have built 3GW of wind capacity by 2030 (pic credit: Tuul & Bruno Morandi/Getty Images)

It will invest $600 million on designing, building and operating the 500MW Zarafshan project. This includes a $74 million loan package organised by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Uzbekistan’s ministry of energy claims the project will be the largest wind farm in central Asia when it is commissioned in 2024.

Masdar initially signed agreements for the project – including a power purchase agreement (PPA) – with Uzbekistan’s ministry of investments and foreign trade and its National Electric Grid in June 2020

This is Masdar’s second utility-scale project in Uzbekistan, following a solar PV plant which is also underpinned by a PPA with the Uzbekistan government.

Zarafshan is due to feature 111 Goldwind turbines, indicating an average power rating of about 4.5MW. Turbine components will be transported to the site from Baiyin City in Gansu Province, China, via Korgas in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region and Kazakhstan. 

Technical analyses are currently being conducted ahead of project construction starting. Facilities to house workers and transport infrastructure are also being built.

Zarafshan will contribute to Uzbekistan’s target of generating 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, including 3GW of wind capacity.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s CEO, said: “Uzbekistan is a key strategic investment destination for Masdar, and we look forward to continuing to develop and grow our strong portfolio of projects in the nation.”