By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $60 million loan to construct hydropower plants (HPPs) with 25 megawatts (MW) capacity in Uzbekistan, according to the report published ADB’s official website.
The Bank considers it will help the Uzbek Government achieve its goal of diversifying the country’s energy sector through greater use of clean energy sources and lowering carbon emissions.
Seung Duck Kim, ADB Energy Specialist for Central and West Asia, said that ADB’s assistance to help build HPPs will boost Uzbekistan’s potential to secure a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.
As he noted, the project’s integrated approach to high-quality design, international practices on safeguards, and climate change resilience is a template for similar development of hydropower projects in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan has abundant renewable energy resources, including hydropower. So far, only 1.9 gigawatts (GW) or 20 percent of the available hydropower potential has been exploited.
The project will construct HPPs with 25 MW of total capacity. This is composed of a six MW plant in Rabat, an eight MW plant in Chappasuy, a 10 MW plant in Tamshusu, and three mini/micro HPPs with a combined capacity of one MW.
The mini/micro-HPPs will ensure the efficient use of water resources including from spillover water from dams or irrigation canals and can be alternate sources of electricity in rural and remote villages. The project will also help the government to formulate a hydropower development masterplan, which will help identify potential private sector investment opportunities through public-private partnerships.
The Joint-Stock Company Uzbekhydroenergo, as the nodal agency to oversee the government’s $2.6 billion investment program to increase the country’s hydropower capacity by 1,600 MW by 2030, will be the project’s executing agency. ADB will also help improve Uzbekhydroenergo’s institutional capacity and corporate governance throughout the project.
The total cost of the project is $75.3 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
ADB is committed to achieving prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, and is sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members, 49 of which are from the region.
Since joining ADB in 1995, Uzbekistan has received 70 loans totaling $7.4 billion, including two private sector loans totaling $225 million.
ADB also provided $6 million in equity investments, $218 million in guarantees, and $87.3 million in technical assistance grants.
The Bank signed five loans totaling $1.1 billion in 2018, to improve energy efficiency and primary health care services, access to finance for farmers and fruit and vegetable producers, and access to drinking water in western Uzbekistan.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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