Tashkent, April 10, 2013 — The World Bank and the Government of Uzbekistan today signed a US$ 180 million loan to the Republic of Uzbekistan for Advanced Electricity Metering Project. The Project’s objective is to reduce commercial losses of three regional power distribution companies in Tashkent, and the Tashkent and Syrdarya Regions (Oblasts). This will be achieved by improving their metering and billing infrastructure, and the commercial management systems.
In line with the Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy and the Government priorities, the proposed project will contribute to increasing the efficiency of infrastructure.
“Advanced meters and associated "smart" technologies will help control energy use and will benefit both utilities and customers,” - said Takuya Kamata, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan. “These technologies allow utilities to monitor and track energy use and potentially control customer end-use appliances and equipment, making utility systems more efficient and reliable. A more intelligently-run power grid can yield greater cost saving.”
The project will increase the collection rates of the three power distribution companies, leading to the improvements of their financial viability and operational efficiencies. As a result of the project, around 1.2 million advanced meters and associated communication systems will replace the existing outdated metering; an Energy Data Management/Billing/Customer Relationship Management/Archive system will be installed for the Tashkent and Syrdarya Regions, and the centralized Energy Data Management will be installed in Tashkent city; and the capacities of the three regional distribution companies in re-engineering their procedures in meter reading, billing and collection and improving management efficiency will be enhanced.
It will also encourage electricity consumers to use electricity more efficiently by providing transparent and fair pricing signals, and information on electricity consumption. Public awareness program would be aiming at educating population on the use of energy, explaining social assistance measures for poor households, covering issues related to meters, and promoting energy saving. This will eventually reduce energy waste in the mid to long-term, which will also reduce carbon emission and benefit the environment.
This project is a part of a national advanced electricity metering program. The concept of the project was developed in close coordination with Uzbekenergo, Ministry of Finance, and Asian Development Bank, which provides financing for advanced electricity metering systems in another three regional distribution companies.
Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank’s mission in the country is to improve people’s livelihoods through supporting economic reforms, modernization of the country’s social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing Bank’s knowledge and experience with the Government and the people of Uzbekistan.
Total World Bank’s current active commitments as of April 2013 make about US$ 987.50 million for 11 projects.