Tashkent, April 20 - Neftegaz.RU.
A development fund steered by OPEC
said it was extending a loan to Uzbekistan to upgrade its aging power sector through the construction of a gas-fired plant
OPEC said its international development fund signed a $ 50 million loan agreement
with Saudi utility ACWA Power
to help build and operate a 1.5 GW gas-turbine power plant in Sirdarya, near the country’s eastern border.
The new plant, OPEC estimated, is an improvement over existing thermal-power capacity in terms of efficiency and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions
by at least 2.2 million mt/year.
The central Asian nation is looking to expand its electricity generation to spur economic growth.
The Uzbek grid is sufficient enough to meet demand, though efficiency is a problem because of the nation’s outdated infrastructure.
As such, economic growth is stifled by regular power outages.
broke ground on the power project
Once completed, it will account for 8% of the total installed power capacity in the country and satisfy about 15% of the national power demand.
OPEC’s funding effort is supplemented by the participation of European and German lenders.