Pilot Public-Private Partnership Project to Modernize Power Distribution System

Samarkand, Photo: TCA

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will help launch a project to rehabilitate, modernize and operate the outdated electricity distribution system in Samarkand using a public-private partnership. A local distribution system operator has been selected as the platform for the pilot project. Expansion of the project across the entire country is being considered in the future.

The Uzbek economy is one of the most energy-intensive economies in the world. On average, it consumes three times more energy for the same unit of GDP than other European and Central Asian countries. Uzbekistan’s outdated electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure leads to high losses across the power grid. Modernization and digitization of transmission and distribution systems will also enable the introduction of more green energy-generation capacity. This is especially relevant for renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, as flexible smart systems can more easily adapt to their variable output.

Public-private partnership projects have in recent years become increasingly in demand in Uzbekistan. The plan is to implement such initiatives worth $14 billion by 2026. This will cover half of the country’s investment needs. With the help of foreign investment, Uzbekistan intends to develop its transportation, energy, agriculture, and social-services infrastructure.