The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $100m in financing package for the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to complete the modernisation of the 180MW Uch-Kurgan hydropower plant (HPP).

The ADB’s financing, which comprises a $60m loan and a $40m grant, will be used to modernise the aging equipment and improve power generation capacity at the Uch-Kurgan HPP, which is said to be the oldest of the six HPPs installed along the Naryn river cascade.

Upon completion of the modernisation work, the generation capacity of the Uch-Kurgan HPP will be increased to 216 MW.

ADB Kyrgyz Republic country director Candice McDeigan said: “The modernization of the Uch-Kurgan hydropower plant supports the government’s strategy to rehabilitate existing power plants to increase clean energy production.

“We expect the Uch-Kurgan HPP to produce 20% more power when the work is completed.”

ADB’s financial assistance to help strengthen the country’s energy self-sufficiency

ADB expects the financial assistance to help strengthen the country’s energy self-sufficiency and enhance its potential for renewed energy exports to neighboring Central Asian countries.

Located 271km southwest of Bishkek, the Uch-Kurgan HPP started operation in 1962 and was used as a baseload plant.

The upgrade project involves replacing and modernising aging equipment at the Uch-Kurgan HPP to increase power generation as well as for maintaining the integrity of the power system in the Naryn River cascade.

The powerhouse of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Naryn River cascade comprises six HPPs which contribute to 92% of the country’s hydropower supply.

The organization said that it will also administer a loan of $45m from the Eurasian Development Bank for the Uch-Kurgan modernisation project.

The modernisation project will also cover the reinforcement of the hydropower plant’s hydraulic steel structure and dam infrastructure.

In September 2019, the EBRD and the European Union (EU) have announced a new €11.5m (£10.2m) investment programme, to support regular water supply in small municipalities in the Kyrgyz Republic.