(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Kazakhstan has significant renewable energy resources in the form of hydropower, wind, solar and biomass. However, to date, apart from the partial use of hydro resources, other alternative sources have not received proper development.
The main reasons for this situation are the presence of rich reserves of fuel and energy resources and the lack of adequate state support for energy conservation.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) granted 'Baikonur Solar LLP a loan for the construction of a solar HPP. The loan amount is $ 11.5 million in tenge equivalent, informs the press service of the bank.
The project provides for the design, construction, launch, operation and maintenance of a solar power plant with a capacity of 50 MW, as well as the necessary infrastructure for connecting to a single energy system.
The solar HPP is expected to generate 73 GW/h of electricity per year and consist of approximately 150,822 photovoltaic panels, 14 central inverter power plants and one substation. The station will be built in the south of Kazakhstan on 150 hectares of land.
This is the first ADB experience in financing projects in the field of solar energy in the subregion and the first co-financing with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the renewable energy sector of Kazakhstan.
Mohammed Azim Hashimi, senior investment specialist at ADB's Private Sector Operations Department said that Kazakhstan's energy sector is heavily dependent on coal, with almost 80 percent of the country's electricity generated at coal-fired power plants, which are mostly outdated and do not meet modern requirements.
He added that the ADB loan provided for Baikonur Solar LLP will help Kazakhstan achieve its goal of increasing the share of using renewable energy sources in the country to 50 percent by 2050.
Baikonur Solar LLP is a special project company registered in Kazakhstan, which is owned by UG Energy Limited and the Baiterek Venture Fund Joint Stock Company (BVF), a subsidiary of Baiterek National Managing Holding JSC.
ADB began supporting the Government of Kazakhstan in 1994, a few years after the country became independent, by providing much-needed assistance in agriculture, education, finance, and the delivery of social services.
Since the early 2000s, Kazakhstan has pursued economic diversification to avoid being stuck in the 'middle-income trap. It seeks to transform from a landlocked to a 'landlinked economy.
To address these development needs, ADB cooperation with Kazakhstan in recent years has focused on the finance and transport sectors and on knowledge partnerships.
Kazakhstan is a member of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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