The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has become the latest financial institution to support the ambitious Casa-1000 power project in Central Asia.

The EBRD will loan US$110mn to Barki Tojik, the national power utility of Tajikistan, one of the four countries involved in the project. The full Casa-1000 transmission lines will move electricity at high voltages between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (the first 477km) and from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan (the next 750km).

The project’s total cost is estimated by the World Bank at US$1.17bn, to be distributed as follows: Afghanistan will take up US$354mn, Tajikistan US$314mn, and Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan US$209mn each.

The World Bank is a major lender, having pledged US$526.5mn in project financing, of which Afghanistan will receive US$316.5mn in the form of an International Development Association (IDA) grant; Pakistan will receive US$120mn in IDA credit; the Kyrgyz Republic will receive US$45mn in IDA grant and credit; and Tajikistan will receive US$45mn in grant financing.

Tajikistan has also signed a loan agreement with the European Investment Bank worth €70mn. The government of Tajikistan will allocate US$15mn for the realisation of this project

EBRD president Suma Chakrabarti, says: “Casa-1000 demonstrates the crucial importance of co-operation of international financial institutions for global development. This co-operation is especially important in Central Asia where markets do not offer funds for strategic cross-border projects.”

Additionally, Casa-1000 has also received the support of the Islamic Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US State Department,  the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).