First large-scale solar plant in Kazakhstan receives EBRD backing

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First large-scale solar plant in Kazakhstan receives EBRD backing

The 50 MW Burnoye photovoltaic solar project in Kazakhstan will be co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF).

EBRD will lend €70 million (US$79 million) whist the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) will lend €13.8 million (US$15.6 million). This brings the total to €83.8 million (US$94.7 million) worth of debt financing. The project is pioneering the use of a non-recourse project finance structure.

The financing will be extended to Burnoye Solar-1 LLP, a project company founded by a joint Kazakh-UK venture: Samruk-Kazyna United Green LLP. The venture is owned by UK-based United Green Energy Limited and Samruk Kazyna Invest LLP, the investment arm of Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund.

Work on the Burnoye Solar project started following the adoption in 2014 of the Renewables Law, on which the EBRD cooperated closely with the Kazakh government.

Burnoye Solar Solar will be located in the energy-deficient Zhambyl region in south Kazakhstan, in an area close to the Western Europe - Western China highway.

EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, has commented:

"The EBRD has consistently supported sustainable energy projects in Kazakhstan, but Burnoye Solar is a particular landmark for the country’s Green Economy agenda. It is a first in many crucial categories. It will be the first commercial-scale solar park in Kazakhstan. It will be the first privately owned renewable energy generator in Kazakhstan. And it is the first use of a new project finance structure that will open the door to more private investment in renewables in the future.”

Albrecht Frischenschlager, a member of the Supervisory Board who signed the project on behalf of Burnoye Solar-1 stated:

"The sun and wind of south Kazakhstan can be harsh, but they are perfect as they provide the powerful sunlight that can power up our 192,000 European-made solar panels all year round and the airflow that naturally cools them down.”

The EBRD is expecting to increase its annual investments in Kazakhstan once again in 2015, after reaching a record US$700 million last year. So far this year, the EBRD has committed US$400 million to various projects there, including Burnoye Solar. The total EBRD lending to date in Kazakhstan is over US$7 billion.

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