Bank allots flood recovery funds to Tajikistan’s 14-MW Pamir 1

The World Bank board has approved a US$2.5 million grant to help fund restoration and repair of flood damage to the 14-MW Pamir 1 hydroelectric project, an existing World Bank-funded project in Tajikistan.

Pamir 1 supplies 75 percent of the capacity in the main grid system of Tajikistan’s Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO). It is operated by Pamir Energy, a privately owned special purpose company, under a 25-year concession from Tajikistan to operate and further develop all existing generation, transmission, and distribution facilities in GBAO.

The US$2.5 million, approved July 30, is to help cover the unexpected need to restore and repair equipment and facilities damaged by February 2007 flooding at Pamir 1. It also is to enable Pamir Energy to complete the original project scope by focusing on rehabilitation of plant infrastructure and provision of parts and equipment to ensure the plant’s long-term sustained operation and prevent further accidents.

The Pamir Energy concession includes the region’s only generation, 13 micro-hydro plants and several small hydro plants, including Pamir 1 and 7-MW Khorog. The concession was developed under the Pamir Private Power Project, a public-private partnership between the government, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.

The project, at a total cost of US$26 million, combines public-private partnership with a subsidy from the Swiss government to ensure affordable household tariffs.

The World Bank’s International Development Association previously provided US$10 million to help rehabilitate Pamir 1 and expand it to 28 MW and to refurbish several other plants and the transmission system. In 2002, Pamir Energy awarded an engineering contract to Electrowatt-Ekono AG of Switzerland for completion and rehabilitation of several hydropower projects.

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