The Asian Development Bank (ADB) last week approved a US$300 million loan to fund full adoption of an advanced electricity metering system in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan.
The funding comes after Uzbekistan’s state owned utility Ezbekenergo applied for support from ADB to reduce revenue losses, meter tampering and enhance customer service through smart meter adoption.
According to a release, the loan will cover the installation of 3.1 million advanced meters in the country’s five regions namely Andijan, Fergana, Kashkadarya, Namangan and Surkhandarya.
The most recent phase will complete the nationwide rollout of smart meters, covering the utility’s 6.3 million consumers, which is estimated to run until 2020.
Previously the development bank supported Ezbekenergo in implementing its first stage of advanced meter installation which benefited utility's 1 million customers.
The utility will direct part of the funding towards training of staff and hosting of campaigns to raise awareness on energy efficiency, Metering has learnt.
The metering system will give the utility information it requires to identify and reduce overloading and technical losses, and helps customers manage their power use more efficiently, said ADB.
ADB energy funds in Asia
In other energy funding projects, the ADB issued US$39 million in late July for completion of India's Bhutani Green Power Development project aimed at enhancing regional clean power trade and renewable energy access to the poor.
The grant totalises funding by the development bank towards the project to US$93.28 million since approval of project proposal in 2008.
According to ADB, the loan will be utilised to upgrade the 126 megawatt Dagachu hydropower plant in Bhutani to improve access to some 8.767 million households in India through exportation of electricity.
119 remote public features such as schools and hospitals will benefit from solar installations under the project, Metering has learnt.
Established in 2014 and based in Manila, the ADB injected US$22.9 billion towards reducing poverty through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration in Asia and the Pacific in 2014.
The institution currently has 67 members, 48 being from the region.