DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN  – President Emomali Rahmon today inaugurated the new 500-kilovolt switchyard built with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at the Nurek hydropower plant.

He was joined at the inauguration ceremony by ADB Country Director for Tajikistan, C.C. Yu. ADB provided a nearly $55 million grant for the switchyard project, with the Tajik government and Barki Tojik contributing $12.1 million.

The Nurek hydropower plant, with total installed capacity of 3,000 megawatts, produces more than 70% of Tajikistan’s electricity.

“ADB is proud to be part of this milestone project which helps ensure a reliable electricity supply to support economic development,” said Mr. Yu. “It removes the risk of disasters disabling the switchyard and stabilizes the flow of electricity coming from this strategically important power plant.”

The new switchyard uses a state-of-the-art gas insulated technology and is largely maintenance-free, since all parts are enclosed in gas chambers, reducing almost all contact with dust, humidity, and other external agents. It also uses 100 times less space than the old switchyard, which was built more than 30 years ago, and took up nearly 4 hectares. The old switchyard was in need of complete replacement due to its deteriorating equipment and unstable geological site.

Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, and to date ADB has approved over $1.4 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. ADB’s current partnership strategy with Tajikistan focuses on improved connectivity, energy security, and private sector development.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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