The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a of $200 million loan that will help Uzbekistan modernize and digitize its power distribution system to improve energy efficiency and reliability of electricity services, the bank said.
As part of the project: “Digital Transformation and Improving the Resilience of Distribution Networks,” 26 distribution substations in the provinces of the country will be upgraded to digital substations, including a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.
Digital protection relays and climate-resilient design are expected to improve the operational reliability and resilience of substations to natural disasters and extreme weather events, preventing provinceal power outages.
“Modernizing Uzbekistan’s aging distribution network is critical to the country’s long-term green and low-carbon strategy,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Evgeniy Zhukov. “We are pleased to support this project, which will not only improve the quality of energy services, but also facilitate the transition to clean energy by reducing energy losses that lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions.”
Demand for electricity in Uzbekistan is projected to further increase from 67 terawatt-hours in 2019 to 120.8 terawatt-hours in 2030. The government plans to build an additional 17 gigawatts (GW) of capacity on top of the existing 12.9 GW capacity, including 8 GW of renewable energy projects by 2030.
“This project will allow Uzbekistan to reliably supply the additional energy the country needs to meet growing demand,” said ADB senior energy specialist Sung Dak Kim. “Modernizing transmission and distribution systems will also allow the country to integrate more renewable energy into the grid, given that smart and flexible systems can better manage the variability of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.”
The ADB project will also help strengthen the financial management capacity of Provinceal Electric Networks (RES). In addition, a technical assistance grant in the amount of $250 thousand will be provided to support the institutionalization of gender mainstreaming in the RES and the promotion of the participation of women and girls in the energy sector, including through the training of female students as part of a partnership educational program between the RES and Tashkent State Technical University.
The French Development Agency (FDA) will provide 70 million euros (about $75 million) in co-financing, which will be partly administered by ADB.