French utility ENGIE has announced that it will develop and operate its first renewable energy project in Mongolia, the 55-megawatt Sainshand wind farm, which will also benefit from $120 million in financing from the European Investment Bank.
Normally there’s a threshold on the size of projects that we cover here at CleanTechnica, but I think there is tremendous value in highlighting renewable energy projects in less-prominent countries, even if their size is not as big as we normally cover. The Sainshand wind farm in Mongolia originally began development back in 2009, and will be built 460 kilometers southeast of Ulaanbaatar, nearby Sainshand City, capital of Dornogobi Province.
ENGIE announced on Wednesday that it is developing and operating the project, with construction expected to begin in the last few months of this year, and commissioning expected for the second half of 2018. Engineering, procurement, and construction will be provided by China Machinery Engineering Corporation, making use of 25 Vestas V110 2.2 MW wind turbines. Upon completion, the Sainshand wind farm will provide electricity enough for the equivalent of 130,000 Mongolians, and will go a long way to supporting the Mongolian Government’s renewable energy targets of 20% by 2020 and 30% by 2030, and avoid an estimated 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
“ENGIE’s ambition is to provide energy access-for-all through clean and renewable energy sources, especially to developing communities,” explained Paul Maguire, CEO of Asia-Pacific.
“Mongolia is facing an energy challenge due to increasing demand from industrialization and urbanization. As our first renewable energy project in Mongolia, ENGIE’s investment in the Sainshand wind farm is consistent with our vision of leading the global energy transition, and the drive for decarbonisation will significantly contribute to powering the country’s energy needs in a sustainable way.”
The Sainshand wind farm, which has been developed in full consultation with local communities, will also benefit from a $120 million project financing package from a group of international investors and financiers organised by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting climate-related investment across Asia and is pleased to support development of wind power in Mongolia, which provides an alternative to coal use,” said Jonathan Taylor, Vice President, European Investment Bank. “The Sainshand wind farm will use world-class technology and demonstrate that wind power can be successfully harnessed in remote regions facing a harsh climate.”
“Mongolia and the European Union are signatories of the Paris Climate Agreement and the new Sainshand wind farm shows the close partnership between Europe and Mongolia to reduce carbon emissions through renewable energy,” added Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut, Ambassador, European Union to Mongolia. “European finance and technical expertise, working in close cooperation with Mongolian partners, demonstrate a shared ambition to harness wind from the Gobi Desert to tackle climate change.”