US$88 million in funds awarded to rehabilitate 126-MW Qairokkum hydro plant in Tajikistan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Green Climate Fund are providing a US$88 million financing package to complete rehabilitation of the 126-MW Qairokkum hydro plant.

This plant is also called Kayrakkum or Kairakkum.

The rehab will support Tajikistan improving its electricity supply, EBRD says. Work to be performed includes rehab of the concrete dam works and installation of hydraulic steel components, turbines and electromechanical equipment for the four turbine-generator units.

The package consists of a US$38 million loan from EBRD and a US$27 million loan and US$23 million grant from GCF. GCF is a financial mechanism under the UNFCCC that helps fund climate finance investment in low-emission, climate-resilient development through mitigation and adaptation projects and programs in developing countries.

Qairokkum is owned by state-owned utility Barki Tojik. The plant, on the Syr Darya River, was commissioned in 1959 and provides electricity to 500,000 people.

This new financing completes an investment program commencing in 2014 and includes funding from EBRD, Austria and the United Kingdom, and the Climate Investment Funds’ Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience. This round of financing will fund the second and final phase of the rehabilitation and modernization of Qairokkum.

This rehab will increase the plant’s installed capacity to 174 MW, from 126 MW.

EBRD says, “The upgrade will introduce innovative climate resilience measures enabling the plant to cope with the expected impact of climate change on the hydrology of the country.” However, exactly what these measures are was not covered. “It will also build the capacity of the Tajik hydropower operator to anticipate, assess and manage climate-related risks by introducing best international practices from leading countries such as Canada,” according to a press release.

Other hydro work under way in Tajikistan includes rehabilitation of the 3,000-MW Nurek hydroelectric project.

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