Friday, March 30, 2012 -
Uzbekistan’s electricity authorities expect to reduce their commercial losses with help of a $180 million loan this week from the World Bank.
The money will be spent on installing advanced electricity meters for three power distribution companies in Tashkent city and province and neighboring Syrdarya province.
Outdated meters will be replaced by 1.2 million advanced meters and backed by a new billing infrastructure and commercial management systems, the lender said in a statement.
“These technologies allow utilities to monitor and track energy use and potentially control customer end-use appliances and equipment, making utility systems more efficient and reliable,” said Takuya Kamata, World Bank country manager for Uzbekistan.
The bottom line will be greater efficiencies and cost savings, the manager said.
The three power distribution companies will increase their collection rates and revenues.
With reduced chances of using power without paying for it, consumers will use electricity more efficiently, thereby reducing energy waste.
Energy is a critical issue in Uzbekistan – it has been accused of pilfering excess energy from a three-way grid shared by Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and local residents say that authorities have shut off gas supplies in several regions during the winter due to shortages, none of which were officially recognized by the Tashkent regime.
The World Bank has loaned Uzbekistan a total of some $600 million on 10 projects since the Central Asian state became a member in 1992.