His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure for the UAE, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, took part in a panel discussion on “Green Energy for Future Generations,” as part of the first Tashkent International Investment Forum (TIIF), held in Uzbekistan’s capital last month.
The forum, which focused on highlighting opportunities to drive foreign direct investment in Uzbekistan, attracted representatives from leading organizations across the investment, trade, energy, transport, and industrial sectors.
“More than 15 years ago, the UAE set a target to diversify our energy sources, and to help other countries in the diversification towards renewable energy. We feel that we have a duty to work with the Central Asian region and with Uzbekistan, and we value the trust that Uzbekistan has placed in us to help deliver the country’s first operational solar plant,” HE Al Mazrouei said on the panel.
“We started our journey in Uzbekistan in 2008. We always saw the potential in Uzbekistan, we always believed in Uzbekistan. That is why Masdar decided, early on, to establish a presence in the country. Our Nur Navoi solar project is not only the first utility-scale solar project in Uzbekistan, it is also the first successfully financed independent-private producer solar power plant, underscoring the attractiveness of Uzbekistan as an investment destination,” Al Ramahi said.
The panel session was moderated by Julien Alain, Head of Infrastructure and Natural Resources for the Middle East, Central Asia, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan for the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Other speakers included: Azim Akhmedjanov, First Deputy Minister of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan; Mohammad Abu Nayan, Chairman of ACWA Power; Konstantin Limitovskiy, Vice President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Beatrice Buffon, Senior Executive Vice President for International Cooperation for EDF Group; Krishna Rohatgi, CEO of Synergy Consulting; and Aida Sitdikova, Director of the Energy Resources Department for Eurasia, Middle East and Africa region of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Masdar’s portfolio in Uzbekistan represents over US$1.2 billion of investment in the country. It includes the 100-megawatt (MW) Nur Navoi solar plant, as well as the Zarafshan Wind Farm, which with a capacity of at least 500 MW, is slated to be the largest windfarm in Central Asia. Last year, Masdar signed additional agreements to develop solar projects with a combined capacity of 900 MW in the country.
You can watch the full panel discussion on YouTube here.