Uzbekistan to draw big loan from ADB for construction of highway

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Oct. 30 / Trend D.Azizov /

Uzbekistan plans to draw a loan worth $500 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build a national highway of the first category worth $2.6 billion, a source in the Uzbek government said.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov has approved the program on construction of the highway running from the northwestern to the southeastern border of the country in 2009-2014.

Under the program, it is planned to construct four sections of roads along the routes Beineu-Kungrad-Bukhara-Samarqand-Tashkent-Andijan, Bukhara-Alat, Bukhara-Karshi- Gusar-Termez and Samarkand-Guzar with total length of 1,501,000 kilometers.

Moreover, over six years the government will build 400 kilometers 4-lane highways with cement concrete pavement, 813 km 4-lane highways with asphalt, 288 km  2-lane roads with asphalt, and seven transport interchanges, as well as 1,488 kilometers of overpasses and bridges.

The project on construction of national highways also includes purchase of six specialized mobile asphalt complexes and production of sulfate to produce Portland cement M-500 and above, as well as other polymer building materials used in road construction.

The ADB loans will be used in the construction of three sections of 4-lane road with cement concrete pavement length more than 220 kilometers at the Bukhara - Nukus road section.

The government will also allocate fund worth $1.68 billion for this project. Moreover, the Chinese government's credit line for the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and other international financial institutions also will allocate fund for this project.  

Under the preliminary data, after the construction of the highways, the international and transit traffic will grow by an average of 50 percent in the country and goods and passenger traffic will increase by 60-70 percent in the internal road transport.

At present, the total length of the Uzbek roads is 146,400 kilometers, including 42,500 km - trunk roads, 3,200 km-international motorway and 18,800 km - roads of national significance.

About 20 international transport routes run through Uzbekistan.

In 2008, the ADB provided over $75.3 million to Uzbekistan. These funds were used for development of the 1,204-km-long road Guzar-Bukhara-Nukus-Beyneu (A-380), which links the country with Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

The ADB granted a loan under the guarantee of the Uzbek government from the ordinary capital resources of the bank for 20 years with four-year grace period under the favorable interest rate equal to LIBOR plus 0.2 percent.

Uzbekistan joined the ADB in 1995. During 14 years of cooperation, the ADB provided 27 loans to Uzbekistan worth a total of over $1.2 billion for investment projects in agriculture, transport infrastructure, water supply, educational reforms, as well as small business and entrepreneurship.

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