Baku, Azerbaijan, May 5
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Azerbaijan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a memorandum of understanding on an investment program worth $1 billion, stipulating the reconstruction and modernization of Azerbaijan's energy system.
The document was inked May 5 as part of the 48th meeting of the ADB Board of Governors, held in Baku.
The memorandum was signed by Baba Rzayev, the head of the Azerbaijani electricity distribution network operator Azerishig, and ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang with the participation of Azerbaijan's Finance Minister Samir Sharifov.
Under the investment program's project, the ADB will allocate three tranches of $750 million ($250 million each trance), and the remaining $250 million will be allocated by the Azerbaijani government.
These funds will be drawn within five years.
The allocated funds are planned to be used to upgrade the electricity distribution network, substations, improvement of services rendered to customers, replacement of existing counters with the digital ones, and the strengthening of human resource capacity of the Azerishig.
"The energy sector plays a leading role in the economy of Azerbaijan, and the proposed program will help improve the electricity supply to subscribers," said the ADB vice-president at the signing ceremony.
Azerbaijan's Finance Minister Samir Sharifov for his part thanked the ADB for supporting the development of infrastructure in Azerbaijan and expressed interest in continuing this cooperation.
The ADB was established in 1966, it has 67 members, and its headquarters is located in the capital of the Philippines - Manila.
Azerbaijan joined the ADB on December 22, 1999. The country's share in the bank's capital is 0.5 percent.
ADB's leading shareholders are Japan and the US (31.2 percent of the total share capital), India and China (12.8 percent), Australia, South Korea and Canada (16 percent).
Edited by SI
Follow the author on Twitter: @AzadHasanli