Nikolai Podguzov, Chairman of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) Management Board, has suggested that the capacity of hydroelectric power plants in Central Asia is set to surge by 8900MW by 2035. Speaking at the recent World Hydropower Congress in Bali, he said this comes as Central Asia braces for a prolonged water scarcity crisis between 2028 and 2029, with an estimated annual deficit of 5-12 km3.

Podguzov underscored the crucial role hydropower plays in the region, not only as a source of electricity but also in regulating river runoff for irrigation purposes. Acknowledging the imminent challenges, he emphasized the region's commitment to attracting investments for the multipurpose use of water resources, focusing on the development of hydroelectric power and irrigation systems.

"Great effort is being made to create a favorable environment for investment in the modernization of existing and the construction of new hydroelectric power plants, as well as in the development of irrigation systems in the region," stated Podguzov.

Highlighting the dual benefits of mitigating climate change impact and ensuring economic and social stability, Mr. Podguzov outlined plans for the construction of new hydropower plants and the modernization of existing ones. 

"Central Asia is one of the few regions globally where hydropower potential remains underdeveloped, with less than 25% currently harnessed. Over 80 hydroelectric power plants with a total installed capacity of around 14,000 MW operate in the region. By 2035, we plan to increase this capacity by 8,900 MW through modernization and new constructions," he revealed.

The notable projects include the 1860MW Kambaratinskaya Hydropower plant-1 in the Kyrgyz Republic and the 3,600MW Rogunskaya project in Tajikistan.

The EDB, as a regional development bank, is poised to invest over $400 million in the water and energy complex of Central Asia in the next three years. This year, the EDB initiated funding for the 100 MW Kulanak hydropower plant in the Kyrgyz Republic and is actively engaged in negotiations for financing other significant projects, including Kambaratinskaya and Rogunskaya..

"As a financial partner in these projects, we provide a full set of tools for investment in water and energy complex development. This includes issuing long-term loans and green bonds, attracting funds from various financial organizations and private investors, and offering technical assistance for project documentation," Podguzov stated, encouraging all interested investors to collaborate in the preparation, financing, and implementation of projects focused on hydroelectric power plant construction and modernization in EDB member countries.