DUSHANBE, October 24, 2022 – The first generating unit of the Nurek Hydropower Plant (HPP) – the main asset of Tajikistan’s energy system, was put into operation today by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Emomali Rahmon during an official ceremony. Key representatives from the Government of Tajikistan, the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), and other international development institutions attended the ceremony.
“I am glad that the World Bank is among development partners supporting the rehabilitation of this important facility for Tajikistan’s energy security and economic growth,” said Antonio Nunez, Program Leader for Infrastructure, World Bank Office in Central Asia. “Once rehabilitated, the Nurek HPP will not only help increase reliable electricity supply for people and businesses in Tajikistan but will also enable increased export of clean renewable energy resources and contribute to decarbonization of the Central Asia region.”
The completion of the unit – the first of nine expected to be rehabilitated through the project, represents a major milestone for the Nurek HPP. The new turbine extends the economic life of the unit by 35 years, with the previous turbine having been out of operation since 2019. The new unit also has a larger 375MW capacity – 10 percent higher than the old unit, and is expected to generate 1380 GWH per year, 135 GWh more than the original unit.
The rehabilitation of the Nurek HPP, launched in 2019, is implemented in two phases. The first phase is financed by the World Bank ($225.7 million), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ($60 million) and the Eurasian Development Bank ($40 million). It has focused on rehabilitating three of the nine generating units, replacing and refurbishing hydromechanical equipment and the key infrastructural components of the power plant, replacing six autotransformers that are used to evacuate the generated electricity, and enhancing dam safety with a special focus on protection against seismic hazards and floods. The project’s second phase, financed by the World Bank in the amount of $115 million is supporting the rehabilitation of the remaining six generating units, the Nurek bridge, the powerhouse, and other key buildings, while strengthening the HPP’s capacity to operate and maintain the power plant.
The Nurek HPP, with an installed capacity of over 3,000 megawatts, generates about 50 percent of total annual energy demand in Tajikistan. Operational at only 77 percent, the facility is currently undergoing its first major rehabilitation since its commissioning in 1972. Once completed, the rehabilitation will allow the Nurek HPP to increase winter generation by 33 million kWh, which is central to the Government’s efforts to ensure that energy demand can be met even during the coldest months. During the summer months, Tajikistan could expand electricity exports from its clean hydro resources and generate much-needed additional revenues for the power sector.
More details on both phases of the project in this infographic.
Tajikistan’s energy sector has been a priority area of engagement for the World Bank. Its current investments in this sector stand at $641 million to support the sector’s financial and operational sustainability, ensuring provision of affordable and stable electricity supply to families and businesses domestically and generation of much needed revenues from increased export of clean, non-fossil energy resources.
Currently, the World Bank is financing 23 projects in Tajikistan totaling $1.4 billion. Since 1996, it provided $2.5 billion in IDA grants, highly concessional credits, and trust funds for Tajikistan. The World Bank is committed to continuing its support for Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.