UZBEKISTAN: The Asian Development Bank has approved a US$80m loan towards a US$177m project to electrify 145·1 km of single track line linking Pap, Namangan and Andijon in the Ferghana Valley. Completion is planned for the second quarter of 2020.

The ADB loan will finance supervision services and the procurement of plant, maintenance equipment and external power supplies. The remainder of the cost of the project is to be met by the government and national railway UTY.

The route is now directly connected to the rest of the Uzbek network via the Angren – Pap line which was officially opened in June 2016. Electrification is expected to improve passenger and freight transport connectivity, encourage growth and job creation and increase trade along Central Asia Regional Economic Co-operation Corridor 2, as well as improving environmental performance by saving 10 000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

‘Ensuring the safety, reliability, and sustainability of railway networks is an important component of growth and development for a landlocked country like Uzbekistan’, said Takeo Konishi, ADB’s Country Director for Uzbekistan, on April 24. ‘Improving transport in Uzbekistan will strengthen the country’s strategic location as a trade and transport hub in Central Asia.’