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Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific


Bishkek’s Uch-Kurgan hydropower plant is receiving a face-lift after 60 years of operation to boost the power output and improve resilience to climate change.

Two hundred and seventy kilometers west of the capital city Bishkek, the Uch-Kurgan hydropower plant has been providing clean energy to residents of the mountainous Kyrgyz Republic for over 60 years. However, with ageing electrical and mechanical equipment, it is long overdue a modernisation.


A $160 million redevelopment project will do just that by updating the generating units and reinforcing the infrastructure to boost output capacity from 180 megawatts (MW) to 216 MW. This is expected to increase energy output by around 15% and lead to emissions savings of around 11,000 tons of CO₂ equivalent annually. The project will be funded through an ADB loan, and co-financing from the Eurasian Development Bank and the Government.

The program is also taking the chance to enhance resilience to climate change. Repairing the hydraulic steel structures and strengthening structures in the reservoirs can help to prevent flooding. Sediment dredging will also enhance water supply and irrigation.

During 2018, about 80% of Kyrgyz Republic’s 3,920 MW of electricity generation capacity was from hydropower (photo by ADB).

The Challenge

To increase the availability of clean hydropower for domestic use and potential export to neighboring countries while contributing to multi-year water supply, immediate major rehabilitation and replacement must be undertaken for the Uch-Kurgan hydropower plant.


Economic The project will help strengthen the Kyrgyz Republic’s energy self-sufficiency and increase its potential for renewable energy exports to neighboring countries in Central Asia.

Social The redevelopment of the hydropower plant will increase the safety of local residents who often use the reservoir area for swimming.