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European bank, donors fund modernization of 126-MW Kayrakkum hydro project

Kayrakkum hydropower project

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other donors have approved US$75 million in funding for the first phase of modernization of the 126-MW Kayrakkum Dam hydroelectric project on Tajikistan's Syr Darya River.

EBRD recruited Austrian firms in 2012 for a feasibility study of rehabilitating Kayrakkum (also spelled Kairakkum or Qairokkum). The government previously took bids for a flood early warning system and for geotechnical investigation and instrumentation works at the project, which was commissioned in 1957.

The total cost of the first phase of modernization of Kayrakkum is US$75.7 million. EBRD is lending US$50 million for the first phase. It will be complemented by a US$10 million loan and an US$11 million grant from the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience under the Climate Investment Funds. The remaining US$4.7 million includes donor financing from the governments of Austria and the United Kingdom and EBRD's Shareholder Special Fund for consultancy services.

Tajikistan experiences chronic electricity shortages during winter months as demand for electricity exceeds supply by 24 percent. Modernization of Kayrakkum is to help reduce shortages and improve power distribution in Sugd, the country's second largest industrial region.

The first phase of the upgrade is to increase the plant's installed capacity to 142 MW from 126 MW by the installation of two new and larger turbines. That is to prevent water spills and generate more electricity with the same flows. The investment also will finance installation of upgraded equipment that will raise safety levels and strengthen plant resilience.

Financing also is to support restructuring of the project operator, utility Barki Tojik, improving its operational and financial performance. The project also will advance electricity tariff reform.

Barki Tojik said the full modernization project will require procurement for powerhouse and dam rehabilitation; supply and installation of hydraulic steel components, turbines and electro-mechanical equipment; consulting services to support Barki Tojik's project implementation unit; basic engineering design services; and consulting to help manage climate change risks.

Tendering is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. Interested suppliers, contractors and consultants are invited to contact Executive Director Saidov Saidmumin, PRG Energy Loss Reduction Project, OSHC Barki Tojik, 64 I. Somoni St., Room 302, Dushanbe 734026 Tajikistan; Fax: (992) 37-2358764; E-mail: elrpbt@gmail.com.

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