Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2023

Green loan of the year: Zarafshan Wind Farm

Zarafshan's 500-megawatt wind farm is Uzbekistan's first wind power plant. Once operational in 2024, it will be the largest wind plant in central Asia and help provide almost 500,000 homes with sustainable and reliable energy.

The deal closed on 10 November 2022, with $250 million raised by Natixis, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, First Abu Dhabi Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank.

Natixis also acted as the bookrunner, lead arranger, Etihad Credit Insurer (ECI), ECI lender, ECI facility green joint coordinator bank and the offshore account bank.

It also secured the payment obligations of the National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan for the electricity produced by the power plant.

The farm is also sponsored by Masdar, one of the largest renewable energy developers in the Middle East.

The wind farm project is the first project since Uzbekistan re-introduced the Private Sector Investment and Finance Scheme which aims to encourage growth in the economy. It also aims for the farm to act as a test for onshore wind farming in the country, with aims to bring in further investment for similar projects in the future.