Construction

Masdar consortium opens 158MW Cibuk 1 wind farm

Project will displace more than 370,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year

A consortium led by Masdar has inaugurated what is billed as the largest utility-scale commercial wind project in Serbia and the Western Balkans. Cibuk 1 was built at a cost of $330m and is located 50km away from Belgrade.

Built over a 37sqkm site, Cibuk 1 boasts 57 GE Renewable Energy 2.75-125 onshore wind turbines. The wind farm has a capacity of 158MW and is said to provide sustainable, emissions-free power to 113,000 homes, and displace more than 370,000 tonnes carbon dioxide per year. This is the same amount of carbon sequestered by more than six million trees, the statement from Masdar said.

The opening ceremony was attended by Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic, minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antic and other government officials from both Serbia and the UAE, including Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of Climate Change and Environment, Mubarak Saeed Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to Serbia, and Khaled Al Qubaisi, CEO of Aerospace, Renewables & ICT for Mubadala.

“Through its compelling business case, renewable energy has established itself as the new power generation technology of choice. With an investment of $309bn, 2018 saw the addition of 171GW to the global renewable energy generation capacity. The rise in the uptake of renewables is driven by its increasing cost efficiency as well as growing calls for sustainability around the world. We are proud to share that the UAE’s renewable energy projects that are operational and underway have a combined capacity of 11.4GW, including 8.4GW within the country and 3GW abroad,” said Dr. Al Zeyoudi.

According to the statement, Cibuk 1 was developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana, a Serbian company which is wholly-owned by Tesla Wind, a JV between Masdar (60%), the Taaleri SolarWind I fund, managed by Finnish renewable energy infrastructure fund manager and developer Taaleri Energia (30%), and German development finance institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (10%).

The minister commended Masdar for its dedication to building a renewables-powered future in the UAE and further afield, the statement said.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, minister of State, and chairman of Masdar added, “The inauguration of Cibuk 1 further strengthens the UAE’s partnership and cooperation with Serbia and its government. Since Masdar’s establishment more than a decade ago, its mission has been to advance the clean energy sector and to provide sustainable, innovative solutions to the world’s energy needs. Today, that vision is being realised through projects such as Cibuk 1, the biggest wind farm in the Western Balkans.”

The project is said to support Serbia’s pledge to produce 27% of its domestic power needs from renewable energy sources by 2020, while helping to reduce its dependence on coal-fired power generation. Cibuk 1 also created 400 local jobs during construction and delivered 50km of new roads in the surrounding area, Masdar notes.

Masdar CEO Mohamed Al Ramahi concluded, “In collaboration with the Government of Serbia, our fellow shareholders in Tesla Wind, the lenders, contractors and our many other partners, Masdar is proud to successfully deliver the largest utility-scale commercial wind project in the Western Balkans. Cibuk 1 is not only a bold statement as to Serbia’s long-term renewable energy ambitions and its commitment to modernise its power sector, but also an investment in Serbia’s energy security. Together, we have delivered a truly outstanding project, a marvel of engineering that has created jobs and delivered lasting improvements in infrastructure. More than that, we have invested in the foundation of Serbia’s renewable energy sector, helping to create a legacy that will support the development of future projects.”

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