The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has authorised a US$106M loan for the refurbishment of aged hydroelectric projects in the Ukraine.

The Hydropower Rehabilitation project will include rehabilitation of roughly 70 hydroelectric units at nine hydro power plants built over 30 years ago. The aim is to increase hydroelectric production by 360GWh/yr, boost hydro power capacity by 250MW and reduce emissions from thermal power plants.

The loan will be at the Bank’s standard interest rate for LIBOR-based single-currency dollar loans; it has a grace period of is six years and is repayable in 18 years. The loan builds on the previous Hydropower Rehabilitation and System Control project, which was successfully completed in 2002.

‘The objective… is to improve the security, reliability and quality of energy supply. This will facilitate smooth operation of the energy market both domestically and internationally,’ said Dejan Ostojic, Programme Team Leader.

The Bank says this is the first of a series of projects planned to support its long-term Energy Sector Reform and Development programme in the Eastern European country.