Masdar Inks Agreement with Samruk-Kazyna to Explore Renewable Energy Opportunities in Kazakhstan
Posted on 02/26/2021
Established in 2006, Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, is a company engaged in renewable energy and sustainable urban development. Masdar is under the umbrella of Mubadala Investment Company. Masdar and Samruk-Kazyna, the sovereign wealth fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan, have signed a strategic agreement to explore renewable energy opportunities in Kazakhstan and support the country’s clean-energy objectives. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the joint development of renewable energy projects, and the potential establishment of a joint venture.
“As a global leader in renewable energy projects, active in more than 30 countries, Masdar is well positioned to help the Republic of Kazakhstan achieve its clean energy objectives,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar in a press release. “We look forward to collaborating with Samruk-Kazyna on developing of renewable energy projects in the country. We also welcome the opportunity to extend our presence in Central Asia, which we see as an area of strategic importance for us.”
“Samruk-Kazyna JSC is going through the process of transformation into an investment holding. We are striving towards Mubadala’s operational model. This also applies to international investments,” said Akhmetzhan Yessimov, CEO of Samruk-Kazyna.
Samruk-Kazyna has a portfolio of enterprises across industries, including companies in the electric power generation and distribution sectors. The government of Kazakhstan has committed to increase the share of renewable energy in domestic electricity generation to 10 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050.
The Uzbek power sector currently has no private sector participation. In December 2020, Masdar announced the financial close of the 100-megawatt Nur Navoi Solar Project – Uzbekistan’s first successfully financed independent power producer solar project. The total project cost is estimated at US$ 111 million. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) financed US$ 60 million via equity bridge loan to Nur Navoi Solar Holding RSC Ltd, the borrower of the project. The borrower is Masdar and will hold majority ownership in an Uzbek Project SPV responsible for the project construction and operation. “Nur Navoi Solar” Foreign Enterprise Limited Liability Company (NNS) is a special purpose vehicle owned by Masdar. Nur Navoi Solar will provide its energy output to the National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Other loan investors include the Asian Development Bank signing loans of up to US$ 17.5 million. Asian Development Bank’s arrangement is split between the bank itself and the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II (CFPS II), which will be administered by ADB. Other senior lenders include International Finance Corporation, International Finance Corporation as implementing entity of the Canada-IFC Blended Climate Finance Program. Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright advised Masdar on the solar power project in Uzbekistan under the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Scaling Solar regime.
In June 2020, Masdar signed an agreement with the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan to design, finance, build and operate a 500MW utility-scale wind farm project, to be located in the Zarafshon district of the Navoi Region. Commercial operation is expected to begin at the end of 2024.