Khorog, Tajikistan, September 2021Today, the Founder of Peace and National Unity – Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, His Excellency Emomali Rahmon inaugurated a 110kV Substation in Khorog – one of the two newly constructed 110kV substations in VMKB, Tajikistan. The commissioning of these substations marks a historical juncture in VMKB energy provision; as it is for the first time, the region has reached a 110kV capacity of its power system. The project is funded by the Government of Switzerland - State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and co-financed and implemented by Pamir Energy Company. The substations will enable recovery of up to 2.5 MW energy losses during peak hours which will be used to provide a reliable supply of electricity to areas of growing demand within VMKB and cross-border areas of Afghanistan.

“It is quite symbolic that we are celebrating this breakthrough moment during the 30th anniversary of our country’s independence. The substations avail new opportunities for further reduction of losses, better and more reliable provision of electricity to population, increased resilience to climate change, better electricity export potential, and improved ability to supply clean and reliable electricity to more people, which would all ultimately lead to achieving our national strategic priority of reaching energy security. We would like to express our highest appreciation to the Swiss Government and SECO for their cooperation with the Government of Tajikistan in enhancing VMKB power provision since the early 2000s. I would also like to thank Pamir Energy and the company’s founders for co-financing the project and congratulate the team for completing the construction works with high quality and before the cold season,” indicated Mr. Daler Juma, Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan.  

Construction of Khorog and Pamir-1 substations is part of Pamir Private Power Project – Phase III (PPPP III) funded by the Government of Switzerland - State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). In addition to the newly commissioned substations, the project will support Pamir Energy in enhancing its DRR and GIS capacity, building the resilience of PE outdated transmission network between Pamir I and Khorog HPP, construction of 110 kV transmission line between Khorog and Sebzor village as well as the construction of Sebzor substation, and in optimization of Khorog distribution network.

Over the last 20 years, Switzerland has provided continued assistance to Tajikistan, including Khorog city, in improving the reliable provision of basic infrastructure services. Improving the resilience of infrastructure services towards natural disasters and more broadly promoting sustainable urban development for climate-friendly economic growth is one of the focal areas of SECO’s economic development cooperation. Climate change impacts are increasingly becoming visible in Tajikistan and beyond. In particular in mountain environments, like the Pamir region, climate change related natural hazards pose a challenge to the reliable provision of basic infrastructure services like electricity and as a result to the sustainable development of communities and livelihoods. The Pamir Private Power Project with its focus on increasing resilience of electricity provision is an example of SECO’s engagement in this area, in which Switzerland traditionally has a strong know-how due to its own topography. Ultimately, the project aims to contribute to sustainable development in the VMKB through the provision of reliable, affordable, and sustainable access to electricity supply, added Ms. Salome Steib the Government of Switzerland Representative in Tajikistan.

The new high-capacity substations will play an essential role in improving energy supply and resiliency in VMKB and Pamir Energy’s operational performance.

“The new substations will enable us to unlock 2.5MW of power, which has been unavailable so far due to technical losses. This is particularly important as we are working toward the construction and commissioning of the 11MW Sebzor HPP. These two substations are crucial in preparing our network for transmitting and distributing the Sebzor power effectively in the future,” emphasized Pamir Energy’s Acting General Director, Mr. Amrikhon Rahimov.

The Pamir Private Power Project – Phase III (PPPP III) aims to streamline resilience into Pamir Energy’s operations and improve performance as essential elements for long-term sustainability. Resilience will be strengthened through a combination of corporate development activities and targeted infrastructure investments. Improved capacity to manage peak demand combined with increased energy efficiency will promote and prioritize a more efficient use of the existing infrastructure and improve the overall operational performance of Pamir Energy. The project’s expected impact is to improve living conditions and support economic development in VMKB through the provision of reliable, affordable, and sustainable access to electricity supply. To this end, PPPP III is structured along two main components to strengthen Pamir Energy’s ability to a) Increase resilience in view of the project region being highly prone to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change and; b) Improve operational performance through increased energy efficiency and peak load management as cost effective way to meet growing energy demand. PPPP III will be implemented from December 2019 to December 2023.

About the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan: The Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan represents the Government of Switzerland and supervises Swiss funded projects implemented in Tajikistan. There are two Swiss Federal Agencies working in the country, namely the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Switzerland funds projects in the following domains: Water, infrastructure, and climate change; Governance and Institution buildings; Employment and economic development. Additionally, the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan promotes arts and culture and supports small projects from local organizations. The Government of Switzerland gives substantial contributions to the World Bank (WB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United Nations system. Those organisations also support the Republic of Tajikistan.

Pamir Energy Company: Established as part of a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and Pamir Energy Company (PE), a subsidiary of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), PE is an integrated energy utility company operating in the region of VMKB in Eastern Tajikistan. PE’s establishment marked the formation of the first PPP in Central Asia, with the Government of Tajikistan transferring the operation and management of the energy assets in the region to PE in 2002 but maintaining ownership. PE’s goal is to bring light and warmth to VMKB by providing clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to every household and creating a sustainable, resilient energy network that will be handed back to the Government of Tajikistan at the end of the 25-year partnership. Pamir Energy has invested over US$ 200 million since 2002 to repair electrical infrastructure, expand hydroelectric capacity and establish a metering system in the region. Following its rehabilitation, about 96 percent of the 227,000 population of VMKB gained access to electricity and is working to cover the remaining 4% by 2023.

For further information, please contact: Rayhon Jonbekova, Senior Partnerships Officer at [email protected]