The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $60 million loan to Uzbekistan to help build six new hydropower plants with a total capacity of 25MW.
The projects to benefit from the funding are a a 6MW plant in Rabat, an 8MW plant in Chappasuy, a 10MW plant in Tamshusu, and three mini/micro-hydropower plants with a combined capacity of 1 MW. The mini/micro plants will ensure the efficient use of water resources including from spillover water from dams or irrigation canals, and can be alternate sources of electricity in rural and remote villages.
The funds will also go towards a project to help the government formulate a hydropower development masterplan, which will help identify potential private sector investment opportunities through public–private partnerships.
The Joint-Stock Company Uzbekhydroenergo, as the nodal agency to oversee the government’s $2.6 billion investment program to increase the country’s hydropower capacity by 1600MW by 2030, will be the project’s executing agency. ADB will also help improve Uzbekhydroenergo’s institutional capacity and corporate governance throughout the project.
The total cost of the project is $75.3 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
“ADB’s assistance to help build HPPs will boost Uzbekistan’s aim of securing a cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” said ADB Energy Specialist for Central and West Asia Mr. Seung Duck Kim. “The project’s integrated approach to high quality design, international practices on safeguards, and climate change resilience is a template for similar development of hydropower projects in Uzbekistan.”
Uzbekistan has abundant renewable energy resources, including hydropower. So far, only 1.9GW or 20% of the available hydropower potential has been exploited.