Ukraine's DTEK, China's CMEC to build one of Europe's largest solar projects

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s largest private power producer DTEK and China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC) said on Friday they had agreed a joint project to build one of Europe’s largest solar energy generators at a cost of 230 million euros ($282 million).

The solar power station will be built in the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk with a planned capacity of 200 megawatts (MW), making it the third largest in Europe in terms of potential output.

“It’ll be completed in a very short space of time - before the end of this year,” DTEK Chief Executive Maksim Timchenko said at a signing ceremony in Kiev with CMEC Chairman Zhang Chun [DFPI.UL].

The project will be financed with a combination of DTEK funds and a loan from CMEC. The size of the loan was not announced.

DTEK is a relative newcomer to solar power, having launched its first solar project - Tryfonivska Solar Power Plant with 10 MW capacity - last August.

Ukraine’s energy sector remains heavily dependent on traditional fossil fuels and nuclear power. Last year renewable sources accounted for around 1 percent of total generation.

DTEK plans to increase its renewable capacity to 1,000 MW in 2019, Timchenko said.

Chinese solar power led a record 157 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity added worldwide last year, more than double the amount of new generation capacity from fossil fuels, a U.N.-backed report showed on Thursday.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Matthias Williams and David Evans