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Suntech to build $10 million solar panel factory in Uzbekistan

Suntech to build $10 million solar panel factory in Uzbekistan
The desert sun breaks over the city of Khiva, Uzbekistan.

China's Suntech Power Holdings Co., the world’s largest solar panel producer, is set to build a $10 million solar panel factory in Uzbekistan, said the Uzbek economics ministry.

According to a RIA Novosti report, Suntech has signed a memorandum of understanding with Uzbekistan's state energy company Uzbekenergo to put up the project in the Navoiy free industrial and economic zone.

Start of construction will be announced soon.

Currently, Uzbekistan is largely investing in solar power and has already attracted foreign investors.

Tashkent, the country’s capital, unveiled a new solar research institute in February 2012, with the support of the Asian Development Bank.

Additionally, Uzbekenergo began designing a 50-megawatt solar power station in the region last year, capable of producing 110 million kilowatt hours of power every year. The $250 million project will be co-financed between the government and A.D.B. which has given the project a $90 million loan.

The central Asian landlocked nation has also previously announced plans to establish several solar-based electric power plants with a generation capacity of more than two gigawatts. These power plants will be financed by Uzbenergo and loans from the A.D.B. as well as other international financial organizations.

According to A.D.B., solar energy is the most promising source of renewable energy in Uzbekistan, with the country having abundant solar irradiance ranging between 1,400 to 1,800 kilowatt hours per square meters. This is comparable to that of leading countries in solar power like Germany and Spain.

Tapping solar energy will help the country diversify its energy mix and cut carbon emissions from thermal power plants, which comprise 86 percent of Uzbekistan’s installed capacity, said the A.D.B. – EcoSeed Staff

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