BISHKEK, KYRGY REPUBLIC (5 November 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic have signed a $100 million financing package to modernize aging equipment and improve power generation capacity at the Uch-Kurgan hydropower plant (HPP), the oldest of the six HPPs installed along the Naryn river cascade in the Kyrgyz Republic. Uch-Kurgan HPP’s generation capacity will be increased from 180 megawatts (MW) to 216 MW.
The agreement was signed by Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Ms. Baktygul Jeenbaeva and ADB Country Director for the Kyrgyz Republic Ms. Candice McDeigan on 1 November.
“The modernization of the Uch-Kurgan hydropower plant supports the government’s strategy to rehabilitate existing power plants to increase clean energy production,” said Ms. McDeigan. “We expect the Uch-Kurgan HPP to produce 20% more power when the work is completed.”
ADB’s assistance, comprised of a $60 million loan and a $40 million grant, will help strengthen the Kyrgyz Republic’s energy self-sufficiency and increase its potential for renewed energy exports to neighboring countries in Central Asia. ADB will also administer a $45 million loan from the Eurasian Development Bank for the project.
Uch-Kurgan HPP, located 271 kilometers southwest of the country’s capital Bishkek, began operating in 1962 and was used as a baseload plant. Since then, no major improvement works have been undertaken. Replacing and modernizing aging equipment will not only increase power generation at Uch-Kurgan, but also maintain the integrity of the power system in the Naryn River cascade. The Naryn River cascade is the powerhouse of the Kyrgyz Republic with its six HPPs producing 92% of the country’s hydropower supply.
The modernization project will restore full operation of all four generating units of Uch-Kurgan HPP with increased total capacity of 216 MW, from the original capacity of 180 MW. It will also finance the reinforcement of the HPP’s hydraulic steel structure and dam infrastructure, while making all 8 bottom outlet gates operational. The removal of undertake silt and sedimentation will also be carried out to help restore the proper operation of the HPP’s hydromechanical equipment.
The project is expected to help strengthen the capacity of Electric Power Plants (EPP) to implement externally funded projects; establish a project implementation and engineering accreditation program for EPP; train EPP personnel on project implementation, including on safeguards monitoring, procurement, and financial management; improve capacity for planning and implementing sector reform; and recruit 10 women-engineers and create a culture of best practice and modern business processes.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.