The provision of a senior loan of up to US$ 200 million in favour of FE "ACWA Power Sirdarya LLC" (the "Company" or the "Borrower"), a limited liability company to be incorporated in Uzbekistan for the purpose of the construction and operation of 1,500 MW combined cycle gas-fired power plant in the Syrdarya region of Uzbekistan (the "Project"). The Project is part of an ongoing modernisation of the power generation sector in Uzbekistan aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing the environmental impact. It will lead to the closure of 1,170 MW of old and inefficient capacity at the existing Syrdarya thermal power plant. The Project is expected to lead to an estimated total system-wide savings of 2,611,000 tonnes of CO2 via the 1,539,000 tonnes CO2 savings due to decommissioning of inefficient units and further 1,072,000 tonnes of CO2 savings from the improved efficiency and reduced carbon intensity of the new plant.
An independent economic assessment including shadow carbon pricing and lock in risk was carried out in line with the EBRD's Methodology for the economic assessment of projects with high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The core results confirm an economic net present value of USD 2.1 billion when compared to a baseline of no-investment. This is because the Project replaces less efficient sources, and thus saves both costs and emissions. The assessment also shows the economic competiveness of Solar PV, which combines relatively low running costs (fixed and variable operational and maintenance costs) with no significant carbon and local air pollution damage. Solar PV is, however, significantly less reliable (i.e., its availability at peak demand times) than other options.
The EBRD loan will finance the development, construction and operation of 1,500MW combined-cycle gas-fired power plant in the Syrdarya region of Uzbekistan. It will promote private sector participation in the energy market and strengthen the country's generation fleet with a more efficient and reliable capacity.
The expected transition impact will result from significant efficiency improvements in the national generation fleet delivered through the entry of a private sector participant in the predominantly state-owned power generation sector and policy dialogue for improving the sector regulation in consultation with private sector players (Competitive). The Project will also increase access to skills and employment for young women and men by developing accredited vocational programmes on combined-cycle technologies and green skills, and supporting the re-skilling of a share of the workforce from the existing power plant (Inclusive).
ACWA POWER SIRDARYA LLC
FE "ACWA Power Sirdarya" LLC is a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Uzbekistan for the sole purpose of the Project, and is ultimately 100 per cent owned by International Company for Water and Power Projects ("ACWA Power").
ACWA Power is a developer and operator of a number of power generation and desalinated water plants across Middle East, Africa and Asia. Registered and headquartered in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
EBRD Finance Summary
Total Project Cost
Financing structure: The Bank is highly additional in providing long term financing and mobilizing commercial lenders in the Uzbek market, particularly in view of the limited liquidity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovative financing structures and/or instruments: Long term project finance structures are innovative for the Uzbek power sector. Policy, Sector, Institutional or regulatory change: the Bank will support the Government in drafting the "Law on Energy Regulator" to create a legal framework consistent with the best international practices. Risk mitigation: The Bank's extensive policy engagement and track-record offers comfort to the Sponsor in the new market. Standard setting: The Company will develop and implement a policy to address any form of violence or harassment, including any form of gender based violence or harassment(GBVH).
Environmental and Social Summary
Categorised A (2019 ESP) and High Risk due to the CCGT size, labour risks (particularly during the construction phase), Gender Based Violence and Harassment risk, cumulative impacts with the existing power plant, use of water cooling and GHG emissions. An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Project has been undertaken by the Client and was subject to the Gap Analysis and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD) performed by an independent Consultant, in compliance with Bank's PRs. The ESIA was disclosed on 16/10/2020. No issues were raised by public to date. Extensive consultations were carried out as part of the project ESIA and implemented in line with EBRD-guidance on consultation during the COVID-19 pandemic. A national EIA (OVOS) has been prepared for the Project and approved by the Competent Authorities of Uzbekistan.
The ESDD, undertaken jointly with other lenders, confirmed that the Project is compliant with Uzbek legislation and aligned with EBRD PRs, and the Client has the institutional capacity required to deliver the Project in compliance with the EBRD ESP and requirements of other IFIs and Equator Banks. The Bank has worked with ACWA Power in the past and to date the company has fully implemented the Bank's requirements. A detailed Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been developed for the Project and fully agreed with the Client and other Lenders. The ESIA includes a cumulative impact assessment including consideration of other relevant past, present and reasonably foreseeable developments, which were identified to include the future IFC project and the existing Syrdarya TPP, with three alternative scenarios analysed.
The key risk is associated with the technology in terms of EU IED/BREF compliance. Detailed assessment has been undertaken by the Consultant to analyse the proposed technology and associated air emissions, water use, Carbon Capture and Storage provisions and other aspects. It has been confirmed that the Project will comply with BAT-AELs (Associated Emission Levels) for NOx and CO throughout its operation. Water cooling technology was also found to be compliant with BAT requirements and application of the Zero Liquid Discharge technology to the CCGT design will not contribute into increase of water intake from the Syrdarya River compared to the existing TPP. The Project conforms to the guideline Electrical Efficiency values presented in the BREF Note and efficiency characteristics are 'competitive' within the market and representative of modern, high-efficient technology. At the same time, the project will result in significant CO2 emissions that are estimated as 3,902,000 t per year and the carbon intensity is in the range 338-343 kg CO2/MWh, compared to Uzbekistan grid's carbon intensity of 506 kg/MWh. Implementation of the Project will enable partial shut-down of the existing capacity at Syrdarya TPP, thus making a contribution to the overall Uzbekistan decarbonisation program. With the existing Syrdarya TPP's carbon intensity being around 600 kg/MWh, simultaneous closure of four out of ten units with aggregated capacity of 1,170 MW will result in a direct offset of 1,539,000 t of CO2 emissions per annum. The decommissioning of these units will take place by the 2030 and will follow EBRD E&S guidelines. At the same time, after the closure of four TPP units, the total cumulative emissions from new CCGT and 6 remaining TPP units will still increase by 468,000 tonnes/year, i.e. 5% increase in CO2 with 40% increase of electricity output.
As part of the ESIA a biodiversity assessment has been undertaken, with particular focus on avifauna and ichthyofauna, and impacts were assessed to be low and/or temporary. Series of bird surveys did not identify any species of conservation significant within the Project area; though some species of 'Least Concern' (including migratory species) were identified. Habitat mapping confirmed that the site did not have any habitats of particular significance for bird species. Potential impacts to the canal ecology, and in particular - two sensitive fish species, were also assessed and ESIA determined that there is unlikely to be any residual impact on aquatic ecology. Moreover, the intake design will follow international best practice, including the specification recommendations provided under the World Bank Group EHS Thermal Power Guidelines and will include specific screening, and a limit on intake velocities to prevent fish mortality. Selected technology and design of CCGT will result in no thermal discharge into the canal.
The Project will be developed on land owned by the Government of Uzbekistan, but has been leased to local farmers. Whereas no physical resettlement is required, the Project will impact existing land users, who will be compensated in line with EBRD requirements as detailed in a Livelihood Restoration Framework (LRF), which is the basis for a subsequent Livelihood Restoration Plan (presently in development). The Project has been subject to extensive stakeholder consultations involving community member and affected parties, as well as wider audience through series of online and offline meetings and presentations, held in line with COVID-19 restrictions. A cultural heritage assessment has been carried out and no cultural heritage of significance was discovered. A Chance Finds Procedure will be developed for the construction phase. The ESDD has confirmed that the project will not result in any significant transboundary environmental impacts and will not trigger Espoo Convention Criteria. Potential receptors in Tajikistan in terms of noise and air quality were identified during the ESIA process, however modelling indicated that there are unlikely to be any noise impacts and that the impact on ambient air quality in Tajikistan is likely to be beneficial with reduced NO2 concentrations, due to the modernization of the 6 units at the existing Syrdarya Thermal Power Plant (TPP). No transboundary impacts on water users in Tajikistan will occur, as the Project is not anticipated to have any impacton the Syrdarya River and will not require any change in the amount of water withdrawn from it for the canal, therefore 1988 Sydarya River Agreement is not triggered. If any new information arises that indicates the potential for transboundary impacts, Lenders will require the Client to notify relevant parties in Tajikistan.
Other E&S impacts include labour and safety issues, particularly with regard to construction activities, GBVH, contractor and supply chain management, as well as community health and safety related to construction activities and the influx of workers during the constructions phase (for which an Influx Management Plan will be developed). Project-specific Environmental and Social Management and Monitoring Plan (ESMMP) has been developed as part of ESIA to identify address any potential E&S issues at construction, commissioning and operational phases.
A detailed Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been developed for the Project and fully agreed with the Client.
Full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and supplementary disclosure pack, inclusive of the Non-Technical Summary (NTS), Stakeholder Engagement Plan(SEP), Land Acquisition and Livelihood Restoration Framework (LRF) and Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been developed and disclosed 60+ days prior to the Board consideration and is available at the EBRD site (https://www.ebrd.com/work-with-us/projects/esia/syrdarya-power-project.html) and Client's web-site (https://www.acwapower.com/en/projects/sirdarya-ccgt/). The Bank will monitor the implementation of the Project.
Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing
Company Contact Information
Hicham El Maanouni
+971 278 3001
PSD last updated
27 Jan 2021
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