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Site of Salkhit wind farm, Mongolia. Onshore Mongolian wind farm Asia-Pacific Renewables Deal of the Year 2012

Salkhit wind farm, Mongolia

Mott MacDonald was lender’s technical advisor for the Salkhit wind farm in Mongolia, located 47 miles (75 kilometers) from Ulaanbaatar. The $122 million onshore wind farm is the country’s first wind power project, its first independently developed power project, and the first project of any type within Mongolia to be financed by international project finance.

Opportunity

Mongolia offers untapped wind energy, but the pioneering Salkhit wind power project faced unusual challenges.

The Mongolian environment is quite extreme, with winter temperatures dropping to -58°F (-50°C) and summer temperatures rising to 122°F (50°C). Variations in daytime temperature may also be large. The environment created challenges with respect to turbine technology, constructability, and operability of the project.

Turbines were built in China, and moving them from the border to the site was challenging due to the poor quality of roads in southern Mongolia.

Connecting the first renewable power project to the Mongolian grid was also a challenge to the grid operator.

Solution

We provided support to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Dutch development bank FMO as lender’s technical advisor on the project, which was developed by Newcom LLC, a Mongolian investment company. The wind farm comprises 31 General Electric 1.6XLE wind turbine generators with a total capacity of 49.6 megawatts.

We provided the lenders with a detailed holistic assessment of project risk to confirm financial model assumptions were appropriate. Site visits by our team confirmed that it was a suitable location for a wind power project and also that construction progressed acceptably.

We delivered a detailed assessment of the features and track record of the General Electric 1.6XLE turbine’s capabilities to withstand the extreme conditions at site and assessed contractor plans to manage transportation risks.

Outcome

Mott MacDonald was instrumental in the financing of Salkhit, providing technical advisory services to the lenders to enable the project to reach financial close in 2012, when it was named Asia Pacific Renewables Deal of the Year by Project Finance magazine.

We had comprehensive involvement in monitoring the construction of the project, confirming that actions taken to manage risks were in line with lender interests.

Our involvement continues in operations to confirm that Salkhit will perform as intended.

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