World Bank to fund energy industry in Tajik mountains

October 8, 2002 6:48am

Washington, 8 October: The World Bank has decided to support the development of power engineering in one of the world's regions most difficult of access, Tajikistan's Mountainous Badakhshon Autonomous Region.

The World Bank daughter organization, International Financial Corporation, and the Aga Khan Foundation have agreed to invest about 8m dollars each in the new Pamir Energy Company, which will control the power stations and distribution networks that exist in the region. It will also complete the construction of the Pamir-1 hydropower station near Khorugh and double its capacity from 14 to 28 MW.

Another World Bank organization, the International Development Association, that specializes in the provision of soft credits, will open a 10m-dollar credit line for the government of Tajikistan to prevent the rates in Mountainous Badakhshon from rising above the level that the local population can afford.

The government of Switzerland has provided a 5m-dollar grant for a similar purpose. Swiss authorities have played one of the key roles in the project by allocating 620,000 dollars for making its feasibility study and completing the juridical support of the necessary contracts.

The project is of interest to the World Bank as a unique example of cooperation of the two specialized divisions in the interests of the development of the private sector in a poor country.

As regards the Aga Khan Foundation, its spiritual leader the Aga Khan has repeatedly visited Mountainous Badakhshon, where the world's largest Ishmaelite community lives in the Pamir mountains. Aga Khan was the initiator of both the reconstruction of the Pamir-1 hydropower station and the present project.

Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in English 0140 gmt 8 Oct 02

/ BBC Monitoring
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