TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda on Saturday signed a $350 million loan agreement to boost the efficiency of Uzbekistan's electricity supply through the construction of a new combined cycle gas turbine.
Mr. Kuroda signed the financing agreement with Uzbekistan Finance Minister Rustam Azimov at a ceremony on the eve of ADB's 43rd Annual Meeting in Tashkent.
The ADB financing will help fund the construction of the Talimarjan Clean Power Project, Central Asia's first 800 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant. Located 440 kilometers south west of Tashkent, the new facility will increase energy efficiency and save energy through clean power generation.
Uzbekistan has the most industrialized and energy intensive economy in Central Asia. It uses four times more energy than the world average to produce one dollar of gross domestic product. This is due to aging and dilapidated energy infrastructure, low technological base and lack of investment.
The Talimarjan Clean Power Project will cost a total of $1.28 billion. The ADB loan will be complemented by co-financing of up to $300 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), with the remaining $630 million to be financed by the Uzbekistan government, the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the country's power utility company.
"It is significant that this occasion has served to confirm the three-way partnerships among Uzbekistan, Japan and ADB," President Kuroda said at the ceremony, which was attended by Japan's ambassador to Uzbekistan, Mr. Tsutomu Hiraoka.
In addition to the Talimarjan Clean Power Project loan, President Kuroda signed the $115 million first loan installment under a $600 million multitranche financing facility that will include reconstruction of over 220 kilometers of one of the main road corridors of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC). CAREC Corridor 2 connects Uzbekistan to Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
Other loans signed on Saturday covered water supply and a microfinance project to help small enterprises, mostly in rural Uzbekistan.