The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan worth $50 million (£29.7m) for a hydropower project in Tajikistan.
It will fund the first phase of the modernisation of the 1957 Qairokkum hydropower plant – the only electricity generating facility in the northern part of the country. It supplies energy to more than 500,000 homes.
Tajikistan experiences chronic electricity shortages during winter months as demand for electricity exceeds supply by around 24%. That causes economic losses estimated at more than $200 million (£118.8m) every year or 3% of the country’s GDP, according to the EBRD.
Aida Sitdikova, EBRD Director for Energy and Natural Resources in Russia and Central Asia said: “The Qairokkum hydropower plant is strategically important as it is the sole power generation facility in Sugd, the second largest industrial region in the country.
“The upgrade will significantly improve the supply situation, especially in the winter.”