The European Investment Bank has agreed to help finance a large scale wind farm in Mongolia. The Luxembourg-based EIB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a group of international investors have pledged more than €100 million in financing for the Sainshand development, which will be the country’s third privately financed wind farm.
The project will be built in the Gobi Dessert, 460 km away from the capital, Ulaanbaatar and 200 km from the Chinese border. The developers plan to install 25 large turbines that will help cut carbon emissions by an estimated 200,000 tonnes. Construction will start by the end of the summer and is predicted to be completed in 2018. Mongolia boasts outstanding conditions for exploiting wind power, as wind speeds hit an average of between 7 and 8.5 metres a second. The government is also keen to make more use of renewables, following a 2007 law that set up feed-in-tariffs and established a regulatory framework.
The Sainshand wind farm will have a total installed capacity of 55 MW and will provide the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 130,000 people in Mongolia. Construction – which will be overseen by Tractebel, ENGIE’s engineering arm – will start this summer, with commissioning of the plant in the second half of 2018.
Paul Maguire, CEO of ENGIE Asia-Pacific, said: “ENGIE’s ambition is to provide energy access-for-all through clean and renewable energy sources, especially to developing communities. 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 Mongolian Ministry of Energy’s Wind Energy Development Roadmap also confirmed that wind energy will develop into one of the country’s most important resources by 2020, when it is predicted to cover about 20% of the country’s energy needs.