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EBRD finances first utility-scale wind power plant in Azerbaijan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is financing the construction of a 240-megawatt (MW) wind power plant in eastern Azerbaijan. This will be the first utility-scale wind power project in the country and the largest in the Caucasus region.

The Bank has arranged a syndicated loan worth 186.9 million euros to ACWA Power Azerbaijan Renewable Energy, the project company owned by ACWA Power, an international developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a portfolio of power-generation and desalinated water-production plants. The project will be co-financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund).

Once commissioned, the plant’s 240 MW of renewable energy will generate up to 893 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean electricity annually. It is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 400,000 tonnes annually.

“We are proud to finance this landmark project for the energy transition in Azerbaijan,” said Nandita Parshad, Managing Director of the EBRD’s Sustainable Infrastructure Group. “Last year we signed a memorandum of understanding with our long-standing partner, ACWA Power, committing to delivering renewable energy, green hydrogen and green desalination projects in our regions. I am so pleased that with this signing we have already achieved nearly 1.5 GW of that promise to scale up renewable energy in the EBRD regions from megawatts to gigawatts. We are grateful to ACWA Power and the OPEC Fund for the shared commitment to climate action.”

“ACWA Power is enthusiastic about playing a pivotal role in helping Azerbaijan achieve its goal of meeting 30 per cent of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2030,” added Marco Arcelli, Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power. “We are deeply grateful to our financing partners, the EBRD and the OPEC Fund, for their unwavering support in making this vision a reality. Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond borders and, as we mark another milestone for this significant project, we look forward to the continued support of all our stakeholders.”

“The OPEC Fund is proud to be a key partner in the Khizi-Absheron Wind Power Project, which will mark a shift in Azerbaijan’s energy landscape by promoting foreign investment and private sector financing for a public-private partnership renewable project,” stated OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa. “Through our support, we aim to catalyse clean energy generation and a diversified energy future for Azerbaijan. The agreement is also a testament to what international development cooperation can achieve.”

This wind power project in Absheron and Khizi follows last year’s investment in the first utility-scale solar power plant in Garadagh. The Bank is a major enabler of the country’s ambitious green agenda, through investment as well as technical cooperation and policy dialogue anchored in the memorandum of understanding signed between the EBRD and Azerbaijan in December 2022.

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