March 5 (Renewables Now) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a loan agreement with Baikonyr Solar LLP to provide USD 11.5 million (EUR 10.5m) in local currency for the development and construction of a 50-MW solar power plant in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan-based Baikonyr Solar is a special purpose vehicle co-owned by the UK’s UG Energy Limited and Baiterek Venture Fund Joint Stock Company (BVF), in turn a subsidiary of Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Baiterek JSC, according to the ADB’s press release published on Tuesday.
Spanning over 150 hectares (370.6 acres) of land in southern Kazakhstan, the solar plant will have approximately 150,822 photovoltaic (PV) panels, 14 central inverter stations and a substation. Its projected output is 73 GWh per year. Details on the beginning of the construction and the commissioning phase have not been provided.
The Baikonyr scheme marks the first time the ADB has provided a loan for a solar project in Central Asia, as well as the first co-financing with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Kazakhstan’s renewable energy sector, the Asian lender said.
“Kazakhstan’s energy sector has mostly relied on coal with almost 80% of the country’s electricity generated from coal-fired power plants, which are mostly outdated and obsolete. ADB’s loan to Baikonyr will help Kazakhstan achieve its goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in the country to 50% by 2050 while reducing its carbon emissions,” ADB Senior Investment Specialist for Private Sector Operations, Mohammed Azim Hashimi, stated.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.88)