21 Sep 2023 14:02

Asian Development Bank approves $200 mln loan for Uzbekistan to modernize electrical grid

TASHKENT. Sept 21 (Interfax) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $200 million loan for Uzbekistan, which will help the republic modernize its electricity distribution system and improve energy efficiency and the reliability of its energy services.

"As part of the Digital Transformation and Improving the Resilience of Distribution Networks project, 26 distribution substations in the country's regions will be upgraded to digital substations, including a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, a statement posted on the ADB website says.

Digital protection relays will improve the operational reliability and resilience of substations to natural disasters and extreme weather events, preventing regional power outages.

"Modernizing Uzbekistan's aging distribution network is critical to the country's long-term green and low-carbon strategy," ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Evgeniy Zhukov, said.

The French Development Agency will provide 70 million euro in co-financing, which will be partly administered by ADB, the statement said.

The distribution system of Uzbekistan serves 7.6 million household and industrial consumers. Despite achieving 100% household electrification, the country suffers from unreliable electricity supply due to an aging and overburdened infrastructure built mainly in the 1960s.

Energy demand in Uzbekistan will increase further, from 67 TWh in 2019 to 120.8 TWh in 2030, forecasts say. The government plans to build an additional 17 GW of capacity on top of the existing 12.9 GW, including 8 GW of renewable energy projects by 2030.

Uzbekistan joined the ADB in 1995. To date, the bank has provided $10.8 billion in loans, grants and technical assistance to the country.