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EBRD supports France’s Urbasolar in Kazakhstan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

An EBRD-financed solar plant in Kazakhstan

Solar investor, government and Bank sign agreements at international renewables conference in Abu Dhabi

The EBRD is supporting French company Urbasolar SAS in its plans to build a solar power plant in Kazakhstan, a country which leads this field in Central Asia.

The new Zadarya solar power plant will add 14MW of solar capacity to Kazakhstan’s energy mix, bringing the total amount of existing and planned renewable energy to 365 MW.

All large-scale renewable energy projects in Kazakhstan under project finance structure have been supported by the EBRD. The Bank also works closely with the government on green energy laws, regulations and other carbon-reduction programmes.

The EBRD will provide a loan in local currency, Kazakh tenge, up to an equivalent of US$ 8.8 million, and the Clean Technology Fund will lend up to US$ 3.9 million for the solar plant in the South Kazakhstan region, near the city of Shymkent.  The solar park project will be implemented by a special purpose company, Kaz Green Tek Solar LLP, incorporated in Kazakhstan and majority owned by Urbasolar.

Loan agreements and a project support agreement were signed at the 8th Session of the Assembly of IRENA, the international renewables body, in Abu Dhabi on 13 January 2018.

Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources, said: “The EBRD is very proud to be leading the way in our region of operations in creating markets for renewable energy. The project support agreement we have signed today with the Minister of Energy, Kanat Bozumbayev, comes only half a year after a project signed at the opening of EXPO 2017 in Astana, which demonstrates the country’s commitment to making progress in the renewables sector. I also want to thank our partner, the Clean Technology Fund, for supporting yet another project in Kazakhstan.”

Arnaud Mine, President of Urbasolar, said: “We believe that photovoltaic technology will play a significant role in electricity production in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. This project will demonstrate the technical performance and economic viability of such a plant. We have been working for four years to prepare this project, and collaboration with the EBRD and the local partners is key to its success, as well as to that of future developments.”

Urbasolar has been developing, building and operating large capacity photovoltaic power plants since 2006. The company is a leader in France and is developing its presence internationally in some selected countries. Urbasolar has been active in Kazakhstan since 2012, when the company installed a number of rooftop solar panels in Astana, becoming one of the renewable energy pioneers in the country.

The EBRD is a leading international financial institution in terms of renewable energy and energy efficiency financing. It is the largest and sometimes still the only financier of renewable energy projects in its markets. About 40 per cent of the Bank’s 2017 investment was made in Green Economy Transition (GET) projects, two years ahead of the self-imposed target under the flagship initiative.

In addition to cleaner energy, the EBRD invests in greener transport, agriculture, industry and other sectors, and in some countries provides credit lines to consumers for energy efficient home improvements.

To date, the EBRD has invested over US$ 8.7 billion in the economy of Kazakhstan.

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