By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide Uzbekistan with a loan of $ 240 million under a state guarantee, the EBRD reported.
This is the largest bank loan at the moment.
The funding will allow the state-owned vertically integrated power utility responsible for the majority of the country’s electricity generation, transmission and distribution to finance the installation of at least 900 MW combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) and related infrastructure.
The project will be co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Uzbek Fund for Reconstruction and Development (UFRD).
Ensuring uninterrupted and sustainable energy supply remains a major challenge in the region.
The investment will address a major issue for the region, namely the provision of uninterrupted and sustainable power supply, which will support economic growth and improve the wellbeing of the population.
The new project will help improve the efficiency and reliability of the power supply in Uzbekistan and contribute to the government’s objective to create new modern power generation capacities across the country.
This is particularly important for Uzbekistan, the most populated state in Central Asia. Currently, energy losses of up to 20 percent are experienced due to unreliable power supply and obsolete facilities across the country.
The new high-efficiency CCGT design will help reduce carbon intensity to around 350 kg CO2/MWh, which is approximately half the current average across the power sector in Uzbekistan. The project will enable a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of the national power sector.
To date, the EBRD has invested €1.3 billion in 70 projects of the Uzbek economy.
Uzbekistan joined the EBRD on April 30, 1992.
A new approach by the Uzbekistan authorities has allowed the EBRD to re-engage in the country, open a new Resident Office in Tashkent and prepare a new Country Strategy adopted by the Board of Directors in September 2018.
The document identifies the following operational and strategic priorities for the EBRD’s work in Uzbekistan: enhancement of competitiveness by strengthening the role of the private sector’s role in the economy, promotion of green energy and resource solutions across sectors, support increased regional and international cooperation and integration.