WASHINGTON, April 2, 2021 – The World Bank approved today Additional Financing of $10 million for the Tajikistan Rural Electrification Project, which aims to: 1) provide electricity access for residents in remote, mountainous areas of southern Tajikistan; and 2) support efforts to export electricity to neighboring communities in North-Eastern Afghanistan. The financing is provided as a grant from the International Development Association (IDA).
“This strategic investment supports efforts to connect households in some of the poorest and most remote areas of Tajikistan to electricity, thereby providing them with opportunities to engage in economic activities, strengthen human capital, and reduce fragility risks along the border with Afghanistan,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “This objective is supported further by the ability to connect the local electricity grid with that of neighboring communities in Afghanistan and strengthen socio-economic development on either side of the border.”
Since 2020, the original Tajikistan Rural Electrification Project has supported improved electricity access in two of the poorest and most remote regions of Tajikistan, which border Afghanistan — the southeastern Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) and the southwestern Khatlon Oblast. The original project ($31.7 million) is financed under the umbrella of the IDA18 Risk Mitigation Regime program, which aims at mitigating risks of fragility in Tajikistan by expanding opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
In GBAO, the project is financing the construction of renewable energy infrastructure and distribution networks to connect 61 settlements (11,666 people) to electricity. It will connect target settlements to the centralized network of Pamir Energy Company and construct renewable energy-based micro-grids to use solar PV, wind, micro-hydro, and battery energy storage systems to supply electricity to remote settlements. .
In addition, the project is supporting technical studies required for construction of 11 megawatt Sebzor hydropower plants (HPP) which, once constructed, will help to meet increased electricity demand for the residents of GBAO and enable the export of electricity to neighboring Afghanistan.
The construction of the Sebzor HPP, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (through the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau - KfW) and the European Union, is complemented by connection to electricity network investments in transmission lines (supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the World Bank’s Additional Financing), and technical support (funded by United States Agency for International Development).
In Khatlon Oblast, the project is supporting the construction of relevant distribution lines and other relevant infrastructure to connect 74 settlements, with a population of over 31,000 people, to the electricity network of the Barqi Tojik energy company.
The Additional Financing of $10 million for the project will finance the construction of the 63 km 110 kV Khorog-Qozideh transmission line, which will be essential for reliable electricity supply for grid-connected consumers of GBAO.
Over 43,000 people in GBAO and Khatlon will be immediately connected to electricity, thanks to the project. Overall improvement of electricity supply and its reliablity in the two regions will help expand economic opportunities and income generation and improve access and quality of social services.
The World Bank’s active portfolio in Tajikistan includes 16 country and regional projects with a net commitment of over $868 million. The World Bank remains committed to supporting Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives of its people and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.