WASHINGTON, March 15, 2011 – More than 4 million residential and business consumers of electricity in the South-Western part of Uzbekistan will have better access to reliable electricity supply thanks to World Bank financing.
The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a US$ 110 million IBRD loan for Uzbekistan’s Talimarjan Transmission Project. The Project aims at improving the reliability of the electricity supply in four regions of Uzbekistan including Samarkand, Kashkadarya, Navoyi, and Bukhara regions. This will be achieved by strengthening the network and reducing transmission losses.
The country’s electric power sector is key to the Government of Uzbekistan’s welfare improvement strategy (WIS); it seeks to sustain growth, reduce poverty and raise living standards through regional development. To achieve these goals, the WIS aims to improve the power supply in the country and efficiency of the energy sector utilities. The Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for the period covering fiscal years 2008-2011 supports these efforts of the Government.
At present, significant potential exists for increasing electricity exports, which would promote the country’s economic growth. Since January 2009, the country has been exporting about 150 MW of electricity to Afghanistan. This is expected to increase to 300 MW in future years with further development of Afghanistan’s power system.
The proposed Project is associated with the expansion of the Talimarjan thermal power plant (TPP) that is to be financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Uzbekistan Fund for Reconstruction and Development (UFRD).
The World Bank financed part of the Project will cover construction of a 500/220 kV new substation at Talimarjan TPP; a 218 km 500 kV single circuit transmission line from Talimarjan TPP to Sogdiana substation; and a bay extension at Sogdiana substation. The existing Karakul Guzar line, passing close by would also be interconnected to the new Talimarjan substation, by a short interconnection.
These measures will result in the reduction of the electricity outage rate, reduction of losses in the electricity transmission network, increased volume of electricity supplied to residential and business consumers, and new opportunities to increase the export of electricity to the region.
“This project is the first IBRD loan requested by Uzbek Government under the current Country Assistance Strategy,” said Takuya Kamata, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Uzbekistan. “It offers numerous benefits in terms of improved system reliability and increased export/transit capacity. The population in South-Western Uzbekistan will be the main beneficiary of the project. The project will help to increase the region’s competitiveness in terms of industrial and commercial development and may lead to the creation of new jobs.”
The project has two components:
- Strengthening power transmission network by investing in infrastructure , and
- Institutional strengthening by providing technical assistance to improve Uzbekenergo capacity.
Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank’s mission in the country is to improve people’s livelihoods through being a partner in economic reforms, supporting the modernization of the country’s social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing its knowledge and experience with the government and the people of Uzbekistan.
Total World Bank commitments to Uzbekistan made over US$ 1 billion.