Indian EPC eyes central Asian markets

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Mumbai-based EPC Sterling & Wilson has announced an ambition to expand its global footprint into the central Asian republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

With projects under way or constructed in Zambia, Egypt, Namibia, Niger, Jordan, Argentina, Morocco, the Philippines and Bangladesh, the company has told pv magazine it wants to amass a 200 MW solar portfolio in Kazakhstan over the next two years.

A spokesman for the company said the pipeline will comprise large and medium sized projects but said it was too early to announce further details.

The Kazakhstan government is aiming for 3% of its electricity generation to come from renewable sources by 2020, rising to 10% by 2030, and a Sterling & Wilson press release outlining its Kazakh aims states 180 MW of PV projects are expected to be tendered by the oil-rich nation’s government this month, in line with procurement plans outlined at the start of the year.

“Though Kazakhstan has huge oil reserves, growing energy consumption is one of the drivers behind the growth of renewable energy,” said Bikesh Ogra, CEO for solar at Sterling & Wilson, in the corporate announcement. “[The] International Energy Agency has predicted the demand for energy in the country [will] double … by the year 2035. The central Asian country’s growing concern [about] climate change is also one of the factors for the switch to renewables. Sterling and Wilson is exploring all options to support the country in meeting its renewable energy targets.”

And with the government in neighbouring Uzbekistan having announced its intent to develop €1 billion (Rs8,569 crore) worth of infrastructure in partnership with the French Development Agency, the Sterling & Wilson spokesman told pv magazine: “We are exploring opportunities in Uzbekistan as well.”