ADB lends $90 mn to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan to update power grid

The Asian Development Bank has loaned US$90 million to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to update the Central Asian power grid, Tashkent ADB office spokesmen said to Novosti.

The project aims to upgrade Central Asian electric transmission, and promote energy exports in an initial stride toward a regional energy wholesale market.

Energy imports will put an end to Central Asian electricity shortages, previously covered by expensive fuel.

Uzbekistan is entitled to a lion's share of the loan--$70 million-to be paid in installments within 25 years. The EBRD-European Bank for Reconstruction and Development-is granting $49 million as project co-donor, while the US International Development Cooperation Agency is vouching technical assistance.

A priority status of the Uzbek fuel-and-power complex has made the country self-sufficient in that crucial economic field, total capacity of hydropower stations making an impressive 1,420 megawatts. The length of transmission lines exceeds 224,000 kilometres.

The post-Soviet Central Asian power grid unites 83 stations, total capacity 25,000 megawatts, high-voltage transmission lines linking Kazakhstan's south with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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