UAE’s Masdar achieves financial close on Uzbekistan’s 1st utility-scale wind farm

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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Wind Farm
Representational Image

The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, has achieved financial close on the 500-megawatt (MW) Zarafshan wind project, Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale wind farm.

The announcement was made following a ceremony to mark the occasion, held in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital.

Masdar entered into bilateral agreements with the Government of Uzbekistan in 2020 to develop, build and operate the Zarafshan wind farm, the largest renewables project in Central Asia.

Mr. Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade for the Republic of Uzbekistan, said that, “Uzbekistan is aiming to derive 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2026, and we are grateful to Masdar and financial institutions who are contributing to this goal through solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects. Going forward, we will continue to work with lenders, development partners, and the private sector to promote renewable energy solutions to fuel Uzbekistan’s green growth.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi Image
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi
CEO – Masdar

“We are celebrating reaching a significant milestone in this landmark project, one that takes Uzbekistan a step closer to achieving its ambitious renewable energy goals. 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. This achievement would also not have been possible without the support of our anchor lenders, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to whom we owe many thanks. We are also especially grateful to Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), whose participation facilitates the diversification of the foreign capital mix being invested into Uzbekistan, both from within the UAE and elsewhere.”

Alongside the anchor lenders for the Zarafshan project, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FMO is acting as a B lender, while Etihad Credit Insurance, Natixis, and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), are providing credit-insured lending for the project.

Mr. Massimo Falcioni, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Credit Insurance, noted that, “We are honored and truly delighted to support the Republic of Uzbekistan in reaching its clean-energy objectives, by providing to the UAE renewable energy champion Masdar the requested credit insurance facility to develop this landmark project for the 500-megawatt wind farm in Zarafshan, the largest renewables project in Central Asia.”

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