30 Oct 2009 21:38

Uzbekistan to apply to ADB for $500-Mln loan for highway construction

TASHKENT. Oct 30 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan plans to take out a $500-million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build a national highway, an Uzbek government source told Interfax.

A program for building a 1,500-kilometer highway from the northwestern to the southeastern border of Uzbekistan was earlier endorsed by a presidential decree. The project has been estimated to cost $2.6 billion.

In addition to an ADB loan, the project will be financed by a $1.68-billion appropriation from the government and a credit line from the Chinese government for Shanghai Cooperation Organization members and other international financial institutions.

The highway construction is expected to increase international and transit transportation in Uzbekistan by 50% and domestic transportation by 60%-70%.

The overall length of motor roads in Uzbekistan is 146,400 kilometers, including 42,500 kilometers of highways. Twenty international transportation routes run through the country.

The ADB had extended a $75.3 billion loan to Uzbekistan in 2008 for the reconstruction of two sections of the Guzar-Buxoro-Nucus-Beyneu road, a project estimated at $173.5 million. Since 1995, when Uzbekistan became an ADB member, the bank has granted it over $1.2 billion rubles in loans for the implementation of 27 projects.