World Bank Financing to Help Over 4 million Uzbekistan Citizens Get Improved Electricity Supply

September 16, 2011

TASHKENT, September 16, 2011Residential and business consumers of electricity in the South-Western part of Uzbekistan with a total population of over 4 million people will have better access to reliable electricity supply thanks to World Bank financing.
The World Bank and the Government of Uzbekistan today signed a US$ 110 million IBRD loan for Uzbekistan’s Talimarjan Transmission Project. The Project aims at improving the reliability of the electricity supply to residential and business consumers 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 a 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 approved country assistance strategy (CAS) for the FY08-FY11 period supports these efforts of the Government.

The proposed Project will evacuate the power from expanded Talimarjan thermal power plant (TPP), associated project financed by ADB, JICA, Uzbekistan Fund for Reconstruction and Development, and Uzbekenergo all over the country and southwestern region especially.

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 electricity to the region.

The project also has a significant technical assistance component, which will strengthen technical and fiduciary capacity of Uzbekenergo, help to assess renewable energy potential, and manage the avian risks during the project development and further operation.

In addition to this project, the World Bank is helping Uzbekistan to improve energy efficiency in industrial sector - providing credit line via local banks to industrial enterprises; and preparing a Strategy for Energy Efficiency to improve competitiveness; assessing electricity trade opportunities with Afghanistan and Pakistan; and implementing the Advance Electricity Metering.

As Mr. Takuya Kamata, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Uzbekistan says: “This project is the first IBRD loan requested by Uzbek Government under the 2008-2011Country Assistance Strategy. 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.”

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’s current active commitments as of August 2011 make about $ US 630 million for 10 projects.

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