A new grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help to improve the regulation of power transmitted through the networks of five interlinked Central Asian countries.

The ADB is providing funds of $54.77 million to refurbish two switchyards at a key hydroelectric facility in Tajikistan. It also says that it will support the government of Tajikistan to exploit the country’s vast hydroelectric potential.

The Nurek hydroelectric plant supplies over 70 per cent of the country’s electricity and also plays a key role in regulating the frequency of power transmitted to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. However, its switchyards were built over 30 years ago and can no longer deliver a stable power supply.

The project will replace outdated equipment in the 500 kV switchyards and will also position new switchgear in a different area to avoid unstable ground conditions.

“The project will ensure a sustainable and reliable electricity supply to support economic development. It will also mitigate the risk of natural disasters disabling the switchyard and will stabilize the flow of electricity coming from this strategically important power plant,” said Jim Liston, Principal Energy Specialist in ADB’s Central and West Asia Department.

The proceeds of the ADB’s grant will be loaned to state-owned utility, Barki Tajik Joint Stock Holding Company, which will award a single contract for the reconstruction work.