The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to help finance the expansion of the Talimarjan thermal power plant (TPP) in Uzbekistan.
In an article posted on its website, the bank said it had agreed to provide the national power provider Uzbekenergo with a sovereign loan of up to US$240 million. The utility intends to use these funds to install new combined-cycle turbines at the Talimarjan station, which runs on natural gas, and to build the infrastructure needed to support their operation. The turbines will increase the TPP’s total generating capacity by at least 900 MW, it stated.
The EBRD said it was working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the state-controlled Uzbekistan Reconstruction and Development Fund (URDF) to co-finance work at the plant. It did not reveal how much the other parties intended to contribute to the project, however.
The expansion of the Talimarjan TPP will help Uzbekenergo ensure reliable, efficient and sustainable supplies of electricity in the region. This, in turn, will lead to improvements in Uzbekistan’s economic performance and in social conditions, the EBRD said.
Uzbekistan is particularly eager to make advances on these fronts, and its government is working to build new and up-to-date generation facilities at various locations within the country, the bank commented. The former Soviet republic has the largest population in Central Asia but has not always been able to provide steady supplies of electric power to its citizens, it noted. This is partly because Uzbekenergo sometimes struggles to ensure reliable deliveries to customers and partly because the utility’s power grid is saddled with ageing and obsolete equipment that results in transmission losses of up to 20%, it explained.
The EBRD went on to say that the Talimarjan expansion would also help Uzbekistan meet the goal of reducing the national power generation sector’s carbon footprint. The project calls for the TPP to be outfitted with combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) with a carbon intensity of 350 kg of CO2 per MWh, about the current average level reported by the country’s other power plants.