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EBRD, EIB and PROPARCO provide €87.4mn for construction of Total Eren’s solar power plant in Uzbekistan

The Uzbek government’s plans to develop 8 GW of solar and wind capacity by 2030 have received a major boost following the approval of an €87.4mn financing package jointly organised by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European investment Bank (EIB) and PROPARCO, a subsidiary of Agence Francaise de Developpement. The funds will be used to construct and put into operation a 100 MW photovoltaic solar power plant near the city of Samarkand.

According to the EBRD, the package is to be provided to project developer Tutly Solar, which is fully owned by Total Eren, a France-based independent power producer (IPP) active globally in renewable energy sources (mainly solar and wind). It will consist of an EIB loan of EUR 43.7mn and two loans of approximately EUR 21.8mn each from the EBRD and PROPARCO.

What amounts to one of the first private-sector renewable energy projects in the country is intended to help diversify the energy mix, which is currently dominated by fossil fuel-fired power stations, and increase generation capacity and the reliability of supply to address growing demand for electricity. Once implemented, the project would help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 160,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent and generate an additional 270 GWh of electricity for thousands of inhabitants of Central Asia’s most populated country.

“The project will thus contribute to priorities identified in the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; and climate action,” the EBRD said in a statement.

The electricity produced by Tutly Solar is to be sold to the domestic operator, National Electric Networks of Uzbekistan, through a 25-year power-purchasing agreement (PPA).

“PROPARCO is pleased to contribute to financing the Tutly solar power plant, a unique project developed by Total Eren and our first project in the renewable energy sector of Uzbekistan. This financing is fully in line with AFD Group’s ‘100 per cent Paris Agreement’ commitment,” said Anne Gautier, head of PROPARCO’s Power and Digital Division for the region.   

EBRD managing director for the bank's Sustainable Infrastructure Group, Nandita Parshad, commented: “We are very proud to co-finance this landmark project conceived by Total Eren. It is contributing to Uzbekistan’s long-term decarbonisation strategy, which is being developed jointly with the EBRD and is designed to achieve carbon neutrality of the power sector by 2050, as well as to align development of the country’s power sector with commitments under the Paris Agreement.”

Teresa Czerwińska, vice-president at the EIB, responsible for operations in Uzbekistan, stated: “With Climate Action at the heart of the EIB investment activities, we are proud to support development of Tutly solar plant in Uzbekistan. The plant will make an important contribution to both country’s sustainable economic and social development, and allow Uzbekistan to reinforce the global fight against the climate change. This makes Tutly an investment in local economic development and the future of our planet. I am grateful to our partners from the European Union, the EBRD and Total Eren for the far-sighted partnership for a safe and prosperous future of Uzbekistan, Central Asia and the world.”