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Azerbaijan: EBRD Loan To Upgrade Hydro Power Capacity

Baku, 25 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says it has approved a loan of more than $21 million to Azerbaijan's state-owned power company, Azerenerji. The money is to help increase the production of hydro-generated electricity.

A statement from the bank says the loan will be used to finance the replacement of three generators at the Mingechaur Hydropower Plant on the Kura River. It also will help finance the reconstruction of a back-up high-voltage power transmission line from the Mingechaur region to Baku.

The project is being co-financed by the Islamic Development Bank and is supported by a grant from the European Union.

The EBRD says the modernization of the generator will help reduce Azerbaijan's dependency on highly inefficient and polluting thermal plants that are fueled with oil. The bank says power losses from the transmission system also will be reduced.