ADB funds Azerbaijan power transmission project
Sep 11, 2008 - Xinhua
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on
Thursday said it is helping Azerbaijan upgrade its
aging power transmission facilities through a 160-million-U.S.-dollar
The regional bank said the 25-year loan
will help build a double-circuit 220 kilovolt transmission
line and associated substation facilities, replacing
two existing lines which have been in use for about
60 years by state-owned power company Azerenergy.
The energy sector plays a central role
in Azerbaijan's economy, contributing one-third of
the country's gross domestic product in 2007. But
unlike oil and gas, the power transmission and distribution
industry has suffered from a major lack of investment.
The upgrade will remove transmission
choke points, lower system losses, and provide a more
stable power supply, especially in the key Azeri industrial
hub, near the capital city of Baku.
It will also cut the need for imported
electricity, optimize the country's hydropower resource,
and reduce fossil fuel consumption and pollution.
Over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's energy
equipment and more than half of its network facilities
are well beyond their useful life, resulting in frequent
power failures, system losses, and the threat of a
collapse of the energy grid.
ADB said improved power supply benefit
rural dwellers that makeup for nearly half of the
8.5 million population.