Uzbekistan’s First Competitively Tendered Solar Project Receives Global Interest
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is advising the government of Uzbekistan on a landmark public-private partnership (PPP) transaction that will lead to the creation of a 100-megawatt solar plant in Navoi region. This project will be the first phase of a larger government initiative to generate up to 1-gigawatt of new solar energy, helping the country reduce dependence on gas and increase its share of renewable energy in the energy mix.
Uzbekenergo, a state-owned national power utility, issued the request for qualifications for the project on February 1, 2019, and received submissions from 23 companies from around the world, including from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
“The tremendous interest and sheer number of companies demonstrate strong investor interest in Uzbekistan. This is a testimony to the strong commitment by the government of Uzbekistan to increasing private sector participation in the country through an open, competitive, and transparent process that is generating confidence in the country’s infrastructure program and will result in better value for the country,” said Wiebke Schloemer, IFC Regional Director for Central Asia and Europe.
As a transaction adviser, IFC is helping Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade and Uzbekenergo design and tender Uzbekistan’s first competitively tendered solar power project. A lack of competition carries the risk of higher power tariffs for countries and slower development of projects. By structuring a transparent and competitive tender, Uzbekenergo will be assured of getting the most competitive power prices from private companies, helping set a benchmark for solar power prices in the country.
According to the World Bank’s Procuring Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships 2018 Report, while the use of unsolicited proposals might allow governments to benefit from the knowledge and innovation of the private sector, they can also create problems by failing to attract competition, diverting public resources away from strategic government priorities, and ultimately leading to opportunities for corruption.
“The number of companies interested in Uzbekistan’s first competitively tendered solar project is a strong indication that the government’s decision to develop this project in a competitive and transparent manner has been well received by investors,” said Georgi Petrov, IFC PPP Regional Manager. “This project is helping lay the foundation for greater investor confidence and investment in the country.”
As a next step, Uzbekenergo will evaluate the qualifications of the companies to determine which meet the criteria set by the government of Uzbekistan for the project and release a shortlist of companies. The companies that meet the criteria will be notified and invited to submit bids.