ADB to fuel Azerbaijan infra

The Manila-based lender will provide $1.5bn in loans and grants to support the country’s development plan for the next three years.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated around $1.5 billion in loans and technical assistance grants to support Azerbaijan's updated Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) for the period 2016-2018. 

The lending programme amounts to $1.1 billion, with co-financing options also to be explored in consultation with the South Caucasian country's government. The non-lending technical assistance programme totals $3.8 million.   

Approved earlier this month, Azerbaijan's COBP includes eight investment projects across the energy, transport, water and urban services sectors. 

The schemes range from national road development and railway projects to power distribution enhancement and renewable assets, with water supply, sanitation and sewerage collection systems also being considered.

In a statement, ADB said it plans to grow its private sector operations with a focus on financing commercial banks for lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises including agro-businesses, and for opportunities in industries such as the gas sector.

As of 2014, ADB assistance to Azerbaijan totalled more than $2 billion, including approved loans and technical assistance grants. Overall assistance provided by ADB in 2014 totalled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.