acwa power
Image credit: ACWA Power

Saudi Arabia-based multinational energy firm ACWA Power has managed to secure more funding for the development of a 1.5GW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant in Uzbekistan.

The energy company has secured an additional $50 million loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development for the construction of the plant in Sirdarya in Uzbekistan.

In early April, ACWA Power had announced that it secured funding of up to $750 million from some seven international institutions for the $1 billion CCGT plant. The investors included the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, German Investment Corporation, Standard Chartered, Natixis, Société Générale, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the Bank of China.

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The CCGT power plant will be constructed near the Uzbekistan border with Tajikistan to replace an ageing, less efficient thermal power facility. The development of the project is expected to help Uzbekistan to ensure energy security once the thermal facility is retired and to reduce emissions in a cost-effective manner.

The new Sirdarya plant is expected to reduce GHG emissions by a minimum of 2.2 million tonnes/year. Upon completion, it is expected to meet 15% of power demand in Uzbekistan and comprise 8% of all installed power capacity.

The need to replace ageing infrastructure in Uzbekistan are part of efforts to enhance the efficiency of the grid due to the low efficiency of existing ageing power plants. As a result of the outdated infrastructure, Uzbekistan experiences regular power outages, which undermine the productivity of businesses and the delivery of energy to households.

The upgrading of the Sirdarya power plant represents the largest single private-sector-led project in Uzbekistan’s energy sector to date.

OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “We are pleased to contribute to Uzbekistan’s massive efforts to upgrade and modernise the country’s power generation capacity with reliable and efficient infrastructure. Private sector participation in the energy sector will expedite this process and landmark projects such as Sirdarya will pave the way, setting examples of great cooperation among governments, development finance institutions and the private sector.”