The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has lent US$44.5mn to a solar project in Kazakhstan.

The money will go towards the 50MW Burnoye Solar-2 project, in the Zhambyl region in south Kazakhstan. It is the second phase of Kazakhstan’s first utility scale renewable project and is part of a US$200mn renewable energy financing framework the EBRD has pledged for Kazakhstan.

The finance is in local currency, with a tenor of 15 years. In addition to the EBRD finance, the multilateral Clean Technology Fund is issuing a 20-year loan for US$10mn. The remaining US$35mn will be invested by the owners.

Burnoye Solar-1 came online last year. Combined, Burynoye Solar-1 and 2 are expected to save 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year – the equivalent of 30MW of coal-fired power.

The solar park will be built by Kazyna United Green Energy, a joint venture between UK company UG Energy and Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna Invest.

The EBRD’s managing director for energy and natural resources, Nandita Parshad, says: “Kazakhstan needs more projects like Burnoye. I am proud that we are signing it just as vital discussions about clean, secure and affordable energy in the region kick off at the high-level Ministerial Conference on Energy, part of the Astana Expo 2017. Following the success of Burnoye Solar-1, this second project is a demonstration that Kazakhstan is truly a part of the global renewable energy revolution that is happening right now.”

The announcement comes shortly after the EBRD committed US$500mn for financing renewable energy in Egypt. The programme is aimed at attracting private investment in 4GW of wind and solar projects in the Saharan nation, with 16 projects earmarked for funding.

These projects will be located around the Benban area of Egypt, and construction is set to start before the end of the year.

“We have been working with the Egyptian authorities since 2014 to help them fulfil their ambitious goals in this area.  We are delighted now to be in a position to commit very significant financing to projects, which we expect to start construction before the end of 2017.

“This progress is really a tribute to the Egyptian government’s sustained commitment to making the best use of their abundant solar and wind resources to move to a more diverse and sustainable energy sector,” says the EBRD’s head of power and energy, Harry Boyd-Carpenter.