Funding considered for Azerbaijan small hydro pilot program

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is considering funding for a power sector development investment program in Azerbaijan that would include a small hydropower pilot program and improvements in transmission and distribution.

ADB is weighing a plan to provide US$1 million in technical assistance to Azerenergy Joint Stock Co. to prepare a multi-tranche financing facility for power sector development investment that will contribute to economic development in Azerbaijan.

The investment program is to focus on promoting pilot small hydropower development in the remote and underdeveloped rural region to supplement energy balance. It also would help strengthen the transmission and distribution network to improve power supply reliability, reduce transmission and distribution losses, and enhance energy efficiency. The program also would provide policy support, institutional restructuring, and capacity building.

ADB said the project preparation technical assistance funding is intended to establish: a power sector roadmap and investment program; Azerenergy restructuring and business plan; program design and financing approved by the government and ADB; and a feasibility study and due diligence agreement.

The bank said consultants are expected to be recruited in January 2009 under ADB guidelines. A total of 40 person-months would be required including consultants with expertise in power system planning, hydropower development, distribution loss reduction, economics, and financial analysis and management.

The ADB project officer is Tianhua Luo, Infrastructure Division, CWRD, Asian Development Bank, P.O. Box 789, 0980 Manila, Philippines; (63) 2-6326388; E-mail: tlou@adb.org.

For information, contact Islam Rafibeyli, Head, Foreign Economic Relations Department, Azerenergy Joint Stock Co., 10, Ac. Abdulkerim Alizade St., Baku, AZ 1005 Azerbaijan.

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