The World Bank, through its International Development Association, has granted $134m financing for the power utility financial recovery project to support the Tajikistan’s power sector.

The power utility financial recovery project is aimed at increasing financial viability, improving efficiency, and contributing to better governance of the state owned power utility Barqi Tojik (BT), said the bank.

World Bank Tajikistan country manager Jan-Peter Olters said: “The inherent benefits of Tajikistan’s ambitious public investments in energy generation and transmission can only be reaped if managed through a modern, efficient, and financially sound power utility.

“To this end, the support provided to ensure Barqi Tojik’s financial viability is expected to yield considerable impacts in its ability to provide quality services to the population, attract private investment, and take full advantage of regional power export opportunities.”

World Bank financing will enable BT solve its financial and operational challenges

BT owns and operates a majority of the electricity generating plants and offers electricity transmission, dispatch, and distribution services in the country.

The three areas to be covered by the project include ensuring BT’s financial viability, providing universal and reliable electricity supply, and good governance and transparency.

World Bank said that Tajikistan has a history of power outages, specifically during the cold winter months, and the country’s energy sector has been its priority area of engagement.

BT faces various financial and operational challenges, including, unsustainable and increasing debt levels, low collection rates for billed electricity, operational inefficiencies, and poor governance practices.

The government has adopted the program for financial recovery of BT, to enable the firm tackle the issues, and includes policy, financial, and operational measures to improve financial viability and reliability of electricity supply.

The World Bank financing is envisaged at transforming electricity infrastructure, improving collections, achieving cost-recovery tariffs, reducing electricity losses, settling payables, and timely debt service.