DUSHANBE, August 31, 2012 – The World Bank today declared effective the Additional Financing for Tajikistan’s Energy Loss Reduction Project (ELRP). This will allow the project that started in 2005 to continue to support the Government of Tajikistan’s efforts to improve the financial management and viability of the energy sector, to build better accountability for energy and revenue flows, and to explore energy export options for long term sector sustainability. The project will also support the continuation of the assessment studies of the proposed Rogun Hydropower (HPP) Project.
The Additional Financing of US$18 million to the ELRP, approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors in February 2012, will bring the total project value to US$38 million. In addition, the Government of Switzerland’s Secretariat for Economic Cooperation has provided a grant of US$8 million to this project.
The ELRP focuses on reducing commercial losses in the electricity and gas sectors, which, in combination with more effective metering and higher collections, will lead to better accountability of revenue flows and improve the financial viability of the sectors. The completion of the metering and billing component would provide customers with the satisfaction of fair treatment and assurance that they are paying for what they actually consume, thus supporting the project’s objective of loss reduction in a socially responsible manner.
The project also supports several strategic studies to help the Government of Tajikistan make decisions for the growth and sustainability of the energy sector, particularly during the critical winter months, such as a study of the rehabilitation and sedimentation management measures for the Nurek Hydropower Plant.
Other components of the project focus on strengthening financial management and operational capacity of the Barqi Tojik Energy Company, and providing advisory support to the Government for the preparation of electricity export arrangements, such as the Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market development initiative (CASA-1000 project).
“We are acutely aware of Tajikistan’s winter energy struggles, and we remain committed to helping address them,” said Marsha Olive, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “By reducing losses in the system, the project aims at reaching solutions and making more electricity available for consumers.”
Regarding the proposed Rogun HPP, the Government of Tajikistan has resolved all issues relating to the process and methodology of the assessment studies. A detailed monthly monitoring plan has been agreed upon to track ongoing compliance with the international process, which includes rigorous technical, economic, and social standards, as well as information sharing and consultations with riparian countries.
The World Bank and Government of Tajikistan cooperation in the energy sector comprises six projects valued at US$70 million dollars over the past decade. These focus on new generation energy projects (the Pamir Energy public-private partnership), urgent supply shortages (the Emergency Energy project), energy loss reduction, and actions to put the energy sector on a sound financial footing. International Development Association (IDA) grants of US$22 million for emergency fuel and other support increased the availability of winter energy to households and businesses by 730 GWh and heat energy of 14,755 GCal during 2009-2011.
Since 1996, the World Bank’s cooperation program with Tajikistan has entailed 85 operations for about US$ 700 million. These continue to benefit the people of Tajikistan by contributing to improved education, better access to healthcare, enhanced land rights, more jobs in rural areas, an improved business environment, and private sector development. In addition, planned projects include further support for improvements in tax administration, food security and healthcare.