The World Bank will allocate another $ 50 million for the modernization of the Nurek hydroelectric plant
The World Bank Board of Directors approved an additional grant funding of $ 50 million from the International Development Association for the implementation of the second phase of the project for the rehabilitation of the Nurek HPP.
According to the World Bank website’s info, this hydroelectric power plant is the most important asset of the energy system of Tajikistan.
“The restoration of the generating capacities of the Nurek HPP is necessary to ensure the energy security of the people of Tajikistan. Especially in these difficult times, the combination of the inherent climate benefits of this renewable energy source and the ability to support job creation and income for the local population, including through their participation in this large-scale rehabilitation process, makes this investment critical for a quick and sustainable recovery in a post-crisis period, ”said Jan-Peter Olters, head of the World Bank’s Permanent Mission in the Republic of Tajikistan.
It is noted that the Nurek HPP, with an installed capacity of more than 3,000 megawatts, produces about 50% of the total electricity consumed annually in Tajikistan. Currently, the Nurek hydropower plant uses only about three quarters of the installed generating capacity.
The Nurek HPP goes through its first large-scale rehabilitation since commissioning in 1972. Following the completion of restoration work under the project, the Nurek HPP will increase electricity production by almost 300 million kWh, contributing to the government’s efforts to meet electricity demand even in the cold winter months.
In the summer, Tajikistan will be able to expand the export of electricity from its hydropower resources, both through the transmission line of the CASA-1000 project, and by connecting the country's energy system to the Central Asian energy system. This will provide much-needed additional revenues for the sustainability of the energy sector, which in turn will reduce pressure on the rate of tariff adjustment.
The Phase I of the Nurek HPP rehabilitation project, funded 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.
The Phase-I of the Nurek HPP rehabilitation project has the following tasks: overhaul of 3 out of 9 hydraulic units, overhaul and replacement of hydromechanical equipment and key infrastructure components of the power plant, replacement of 6 autotransformers, which are used to divert the generated electricity, and measures aimed at raising the dam safety level with a special emphasis on protection against seismic hazards and floods.
As part of a separate project, the World Bank supports government efforts to strengthen institutional capacity and increase financial viability of Barki Tajik.
Phase II of the project aims to finance the overhaul of the remaining 6 hydropower units, the restoration of the Nurek road bridge, the repair of the HPP’s building and other key facilities, while strengthening the capabilities of the Nurek HPP in operation and maintenance.
The project will also provide capacity building for the staff of the Nurek HPP and Barki Tojik to strengthen dam safety monitoring, operation and management of hydraulic structures. The total cost of the Phase II project is $ 192 million and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan is currently finalizing its discussions with other development partners in order to provide the necessary additional resources.
The energy sector of Tajikistan, amid difficulties in providing electricity, in particular during the cold winter months, and also taking into account the positive benefits of efficient use of available water resources for the climate and for the socio-economic development of the country, remains a priority for the World Bank in the Republic of Tajikistan.
Current investment in the energy sector exceed $ 530 million. This investment is aimed at supporting the sector's sustainability, eliminating seasonal energy stress, providing affordable and stable electricity supplies to households and enterprises, and generating much-needed income from increased exports of clean, non-fossil energy resources.