IFC has finalized an agreement to finance the first wind power plant in Uzbekistan, a 500-megawatt facility in the Navoi region that will power hundreds of thousands of homes. IFC’s investment will support Uzbekistan’s efforts to strengthen its electricity supply, diversify its energy mix with clean energy, and address climate-change-related challenges.
The Zarafshon wind power plant is being developed by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), a leading renewable energy company based in the United Arab Emirates and a longstanding IFC client. IFC is leading a $94 million financing package for Shamol Zarafshan Energy Foreign Enterprise, a special purpose vehicle established by Masdar, to build and operate the plant.
With a capacity of 500 megawatts, the project is set to be among the largest wind farms in Central Asia. Once operational, it is expected to power 500,000 homes while preventing the release of more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Wind is one of the world’s fastest growing and most-affordable sources of new power generation, with over 743 gigawatts of global installed capacity. The Zarafshon wind farm will significantly contribute to achieving Uzbekistan’s goal of adding 3 gigawatts of wind power capacity by 2026.
“Uzbekistan is aiming to derive 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2026, and we are grateful to Masdar and financial institutions who are contributing to this goal through solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects,” said Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade. “Going forward, we will continue to work with lenders, development partners, and the private sector to promote renewable energy solutions to fuel Uzbekistan’s green growth.”
IFC is one of the anchor lenders in the Zarafshon project, providing a $42 million loan while mobilizing $52 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO). Further parallel loans will be provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank, Natixis, and First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Wiebke Schloemer, IFC Director, Türkiye and Central Asia, said, “The Zarafshon wind power plant is a landmark project, which demonstrates that the Uzbek government’s recent energy sector reforms are conducive to attracting private participation in the development of energy projects in the country. We are very proud to support these reforms and help green Uzbekistan’s power sector by adding wind power as an energy source.”
IFC has been advising the government of Uzbekistan on attracting private investments in the energy sector on transparent and competitive terms and in line with the highest environmental, social, and governance standards since 2018. Supporting renewable energy projects and opening the sector to private investments is a pillar of IFC's work in Uzbekistan and the Central Asia region.