Uzbekistan study recommends five small hydros

A renewable energy study for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) recommends the development of five priority small hydropower stations totaling 36 MW.

The study, by International Resources Group of the United States, finds small hydropower is the most cost-effective and technically developed renewable energy option for most of Uzbekistan. It contains pre-feasibility assessments of all five recommended small hydropower projects. They are described as technically viable, with minimal environmental effects.

Projects recommended for development are:
o 11-MW Karkidon, between Fergana Oblast, Uzbekistan, and Osh Oblast, Kyrgyzstan, on canals carrying water from the Kuvasay and Karadarya rivers, cost US$9.5 million, proposed ADB loan US$5.6 million;
o 8-MW Pionerskaya, Chirchik, Chirchik Canal, cost US$7.6 million, ADB loan US$4.8 million;
o 6-MW Shaudar, Samarkand Region, Dargom Canal, cost US$13 million, ADB loan US$6.4 million;
o 6-MW Bagishamal 2, Samarkand Region, Dargom Canal, cost US$12.2 million, ADB loan US$6.1 million;
o 5-MW Gulba, Samarkand Region, Old Dargom Canal, cost US$11.5 million, ADB loan US$5.9 million.

The study, Republic of Uzbekistan: Off-Grid Renewable Energy Development, Project 37107, said small hydropower plants on irrigation canals, small rivers, and existing reservoirs are the most cost-effective and technically developed renewable option available for most regions of Uzbekistan. It also presents a Renewable Energy Action Plan to promote appropriate, affordable renewable energy in rural areas.

Loan would help fund equipment, civil work

The report recommends using a US$30 million loan from the Country Assistance Plan between ADB and the government of Uzbekistan. It would advance staged investments in the five small hydro plants, with ADB funding hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical equipment and about 30 percent of the civil works costs.

The remaining costs would be would be covered by SA Uzsuvenergo, an agency created by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to develop and operate small hydro projects. It currently administers enterprises that operate the 100-MW Andijan, 100-MW Tuyamuyun, and Urgut hydropower stations.

The report proposes Project Preparation Technical Assistance, funded by ADB that would include an appraisal mission conducted by a hydropower engineer, a procurement specialist, and an economic and financial analyst.

The report, which contains additional information on potential for other hydropower development in Uzbekistan, may be obtained from ADB’s Internet site at http://www.adb.org/Documents/Reports/Consultant/37107-UZB-TACR.pdf.

For information, contact International Resources Group, 1211 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036, USA; (1) 202-289-0100; Fax: (1) 202-289-7601; Internet: www.irgltd.com. The ADB project officer is Ashok Bhargava, Energy Specialist/PAU, EAEN, Asian Development Bank, P.O. Box 789, 0980 Manila, Philippines; (63) 2-6326387; E-mail: abhargava@adb.org.

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