Uzbekistan smart metering project gets $150 million loan from Asian Development Bank

Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Manila, Philippines — (METERING.COM) — September 22, 2011 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150 million loan for Uzbekistan’s Advanced Electricity Metering Project, which should help the energy intensive Central Asian nation use its power resources more efficiently.

The loan will fund the installation of modern, accurate, theft-proof digital meters for one million residential and small commercial power users in the cities of Bukhara, Jizzakh and Samarkand. The meters will operate using an automated management system that will allow the utility company to reduce power losses and increase revenues.

“The advanced metering system will help to substantially reduce commercial and tariff collection losses for residential and small business customers by ensuring that energy used is properly accounted for and billed,” said Rune Stroem, director of the Energy Division of ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “The impact of this will be greater energy efficiency and a more financially viable power sector for Uzbekistan.”

Uzbekistan has one of the highest electricity consumption per gross domestic product in the world but suffers from heavy transmission and distribution losses, with state-owned power utility, Uzbekenergo, estimating total losses of around 20 percent. Most electricity meters are old, unreliable, and easy to tamper.

The government of Uzbekistan and Uzbekenergo will provide counterpart funds of $50 million for a total project cost of $200 million.

Uzbekenergo will carry out the project, which is due for completion in December 2014. The project also includes skills training for Uzbekenergo staff to install the meters and run the system, along with an information component to make the public aware of the new meters and the billing system.