By Anton Usov
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is committing funds to overhaul the district heating system in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. The country’s first project under the EBRD Green Cities programme will reduce the environmental impact of the municipal utility.
A financing package of up to US$10 million, consisting of a US$5 million sovereign loan and a US$ 5 million grant, will be provided to the District Heating Company of Dushanbe. The package will be used to restore, upgrade and extend the existing district heating network and to overhaul pumping stations.
As part of the project, and for the first time in Tajikistan, Dushanbe will introduce apartment-level metering on a pilot basis and procure operational and maintenance machinery and other specialised equipment.
EBRD Green Cities is providing Dushanbe with support to develop a Green City Action Plan (GCAP), a crucial tool in helping cities to set out their sustainable development visions and strategic objectives, in addition to actions and investments to address priority environmental issues. With a population of more than 800,000, Dushanbe is the largest municipality in Tajikistan. The EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund finances the development of the Dushanbe GCAP.
Once implemented, the project will have a significant climate impact by reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by around 39,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. It should also achieve annual water savings of around 100,000 cubic metres.
The project is part of the EBRD’s recently announced plan to scale up its climate and environmental finance and to make more than 50 per cent of its annual investment green by 2025.
The EBRD Green Cities programme, set up in 2016, now supports 45 cities in the economies where the Bank invests and aims to increase that number to 100 by 2024. It has so far secured more than €2.5 billion(US$2.9billion) in funding from the Bank’s own resources, as well as concessional and technical cooperation funding from donors.
To date, the EBRD has invested €731 million through 139 projects in Tajikistan’s economy.