The World Bank has approved an additional $50 million from the International Development Association (IDA) for the second phase of the Nurek Hydropower Rehabilitation Project in Tajikistan.
The Nurek hydropower plant is the most important asset of Tajikistan’s energy system. With an installed capacity of over 3000MW, the plant generates about 50% of total annual energy demanded the country.
The plant is currently operating at about 75% of its capacity, and the new refurbishment – the first major rehabilitation at the plant since 1972 – will allow it to increase electricity generation by about 300 million kWh. This will support Government’s efforts to ensure that energy demand can be met even during the cold winter months.
“The restoration of the generation capacity of the Nurek HPP is essential for ensuring energy security for the people of Tajikistan,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan. “Especially in these difficult times, the combination of inherent climate benefits from this renewable source of energy and the ability to support job creation and incomes for the local population, including by their engagement in this large-scale rehabilitation process, makes this a critical investment for a fast and sustainable post-crisis recovery.”
The rehabilitation will also mean that during summer months, Tajikistan would be in a position to expand electricity exports from its hydro resources, including through the CASA-1000 transmission line and upon synchronization of the country’s electricity network with Central Asian Power System (CAPS). This would generate much-needed additional revenues for the sustainability of the power sector, thereby reducing pressures on the pace of tariff adjustments.
The first phase of the rehabilitation project – which is financed by the World Bank ($225.7 million), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ($60 million) and the Eurasian Development Bank ($40 million) – was launched in March 2019. 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 auto-transformers 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 will finance 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.
Capacity building will be provided to Nurek HPP and BT to enhance dam safety monitoring and the operation and management of hydro facilities. With a total cost of $192 million for the project’s second phase, the Government of Tajikistan is currently finalizing its discussions with other development partners to secure the required additional resources.