Nurek HPP Rehabilitation (Phase I)



Signed Investment credit

In December 2018, the EFSD Council approved the Eurasian Development Bank’s (EDB; EFSD Resources Manager) opinion on the Republic of Tajikistan’s application for EFSD investment loan to finance the Nurek HPP Rehabilitation (Phase I) Project.  The Manager and the Republic of Tajikistan signed the loan agreement on July 4, 2019 which entered into force on May 22, 2020.

The total project amount of Phase I is estimated at US $350 million, including the EFSD investment loan amount of US $40 million. The recipient of the Fund’s resources is the Republic of Tajikistan represented by its Ministry of Finance. The EFSD investment loan is planned to be used to purchase and supply six single-phase auto-transformers (10.5 kV, 500 kV, and 220 kV) to replace the obsolete auto-transformers installed at the Nurek HPP switchyard.

The Nurek HPP is the largest hydropower facility in Tajikistan and Central Asia providing over 70% of the total generation in Tajikistan. It is part of the Vakhsh cascade of hydropower plants. The plant’s installed capacity is 3,000 MW (eight 335 MW units and one 320 MW unit). Nurek HPP was commissioned in 1972; its latest unit was commissioned in 1979. At present, the plant is operating at 77% of its design capacity because of obsolete equipment and lack of maintenance.

The storage volume of the reservoir is 10.5 cubic km (the effective storage is 4.5 cubic km); its surface area is 98 sq km and length about 70 km. The dam has 300 m in height (the world’s highest dam of this type until 2013). The average output exceeded 10,223 million kWh a year between 2014 and 2016.

The Nurek HPP Rehabilitation Project is divided into two phases:

Phase I comprises three components (US $350 million):

  • Component 1. Rehabilitation of three generating units, the key infrastructural components of the plant and replacement of six auto-transformers
  • Component 2. Enhancement of dam safety
  • Component 3. Technical assistance from the IDA and the AIIB

Phase II (about US $350 million) will comprise the finalisation of the Nurek HPP rehabilitation and involve the purchase of plant equipment for the replacement of six hydropower units and reconstruction of five transformers  as well as the payment of project management fees and costs for the engagement of an expert group, the development of an environmental management plan (EMP), technical assistance and contingencies. The detailed structure of Phase II will be developed in 2021-2022.

Phase I is beenfinancing by the International Development Association (IDA, World Bank Group), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the EFSD.

Key project performance indicators:

  • enhanced plant reliability and safety and, accordingly, the ensuring of uninterrupted electricity supply within the country (especially during the winter) and to other countries that purchase electricity from the plant (during the summer);
  • lower operation and maintenance costs; and
  • restoration of the plant’s generating capacity.