Uzbekistan is going to build hydroelectric power station in Tajikistan

Uzbekistan is going to build hydroelectric power station in Tajikistan

Uzbekistan, which is in dire need of electricity, will build two hydroelectric power stations in Tajikistan for its needs. Negotiations on the implementation of the project started in Tashkent. The working groups of the two countries discussed the technical and financial issues of the construction of the Yavan HPP on the Zarafshan River.

The fact that Uzbekistan will take part in the construction of two hydroelectric power stations in Tajikistan became known two years ago. Presidents Shavkat Mirizeev and Emomali Rahmon during negotiations in Tashkent in August 2018 spoke in favor of expanding cooperation in all areas, including hydropower. Moreover, both countries are interested in implementing energy projects.

Uzbekistan carries out economic reforms, develops production, and this requires additional electricity consumption. For Tajikistan, rich in hydropower resources, at the same time experiencing great problems with providing the population with electricity, the topic of hydropower development in recent years has been of particular importance. Tajikistan is building the Rogun Hydroelectric Power Station, which should satisfy not only the country's growing demand for electricity, but also export electricity to neighboring countries. But it is still far from complete completion of the construction of the hydroelectric station. Only two units are installed that operate in idle mode. At the same time, Dushanbe is looking for investors for further completion of the station. According to the project, the hydroelectric station should have four turbines.

Uzbekistan when he was president of Islam Karimov was categorically against the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric station. However, with the advent of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the position of Uzbekistan has changed. Moreover, Tashkent announced the opportunity to participate in the construction of hydropower plants in Tajikistan, including Rogun. True, with the caveat that the construction will take into account compliance with international norms and standards necessary for the construction of such facilities, as well as improving legal mechanisms for the integrated and efficient use of transboundary water resources.

However, Tashkent has no desire to invest in Rogun. In addition, Uzbekistan has always been a supporter of the construction of small and medium-sized hydroelectric power stations in the region. Therefore, the parties agreed that Uzbekistan will take part in the construction of two hydroelectric power stations with a total capacity of 320 MW on the Zarafshan River, not far from the Tajik-Uzbek border.

On January 28-29 in Tashkent, the working groups of the two countries discussed issues of joint construction of hydropower plants. According to the press service of the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan, "the subject of discussion was the draft agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on the procedure and conditions for shared participation in the construction and operation of hydroelectric power stations." As part of the project, it is planned to build the Yavan hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 140 MW and an estimated cost of $ 282 million at the first stage.

At the meeting, they talked about the technical characteristics of the future station, choosing the place where the facility will be built, and financing the project. "Despite the fact that we are talking about shared construction, Tashkent will finance it," a source in the government of Tajikistan told Vestnik Kavkaza, explaining that the republic does not have its own money, and it does not make sense to take another loan from China for this because electricity will go to Uzbekistan. After resolving these issues, the working groups will begin designing the station, although Dushanbe has completed projects that have already passed international technical expertise.

At the next stage, the parties will consider the possibility of building a hydroelectric station on the Fandarya River with a capacity of 135 MW with an estimated cost of $ 270 million. The constructed hydroelectric power stations will generate up to 1.4 billion kWh of electricity exclusively for the needs of Uzbekistan. It is expected that the project will help support the peak capacity of the unified energy system of Central Asia, which, after the collapse, the countries of the region began to recover.

Recall that when all countries were part of a single state of the USSR, the so-called “Central Asian Energy Ring” existed in the region, which was based on the competent distribution of the region’s water resources. Water from large rivers was used to generate electricity at hydroelectric power stations and for agriculture. Thanks to the ring, all five republics did not experience problems with the supply of electricity and water for irrigating farmland all year round.

Disagreements during the years of independence led to a breakdown of the energy system. But over time, it became clear that none of the countries could cope with the shortage of electricity on their own. After the change of power in Uzbekistan, a counter movement began in the region. In 2017, at a meeting in Dushanbe of the energy ministers of the five countries, it was decided to restore the energy system. The project is being financed by the Asian Development Bank. For these purposes, he approved a grant of $ 35 million.

A year later, the first Regar-Gulcha power line was launched, which connected the power grids of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. After a long break, Tajikistan began to supply electricity to Uzbekistan in the summer.