Ceremony marks start of work on major climate adaptation project in Tajikistan

By Vanora Bennett

Ceremony marks start of works on major hydro project in Tajikistan

  • Ceremony marks start of rehabilitation at Qairokkum HPP
  • US$ 196 million finance package from EBRD, EIB, Green Climate Fund and Climate Investment Funds supports project started in 2014
  • HPP to provide reliable supply of sustainable electricity for 500,000 people

A ceremony to mark the start of work was held today at Tajikistan’s Qairokkum hydropower plant (QHPP). The US$ 196 million financing package organised by the EBRD is helping to complete the climate-resilient rehabilitation of QHPP to help Tajikistan improve its electricity supply.

The work is the culmination of an investment programme that began in 2014, with financing provided by the EBRD, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Climate Investment Funds’ Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience, Austria and the United Kingdom. The government of Austria is also funding technical cooperation support.

The financing, comprising a US$ 88 million EBRD loan, a US$ 37 million EIB loan, a US$ 50 million GCF loan and grant and a US$ 21 million Climate Investment Funds loan and grant to the state-owned power utility Barki Tojik, will fund the rehabilitation and modernisation of QHPP, a 60-year-old hydropower plant that provides electricity to 500,000 people. Measures will include concrete dam works and the installation of hydraulic steel components, turbines and electromechanical equipment for the six hydropower units.

The full rehabilitation will increase the plant’s installed capacity from 126 MW to 174 MW. The upgrade will introduce innovative climate resilience measures, enabling the plant to cope with the expected impact of climate change on the country’s hydrological systems.

It will also build the capacity of the Tajik hydropower operator to anticipate, assess and manage climate-related risks by introducing best international practices from countries such as Canada.

Tajikistan is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Its glacial hydrology and, by extension, its hydropower sector, are highly sensitive to the impacts of climate change and the project offers a model of how carefully designed investments can make hydropower more resilient. This model can be replicated across the country and the region.

To date, the EBRD has invested nearly €670 million (US$ 740 million equivalent) in various sectors of Tajikistan’s economy. The EBRD is also supporting Tajikistan’s efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change.