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Uzbekistan to up power generation by 2020
Uzbekistan plans to construct 16 combined-cycle power plants by 2020 to increase the country's energy capacity.
The construction of eight 500MW combined-cycle power plants has already begun, Finance Minister Rustam Azimov announced at the International Financial Forum in Tashkent last week.
The minister highlighted the importance of the new high-efficiency cogeneration plants in the growing demands of industry and other areas of the country's economy, improving reliability and efficiency, and reducing the country's environmental burden.
In addition, the growth of energy capacity in the country will adequately supply the population, Azimov added.
Home to approximately 29.3 million people, Uzbekistan has the largest population of any country in Central Asia.
As many as 10 thermal power plants, located around the country, supply some nine-tenths of Uzbekistan’s power supply, which drives the nation’s economy. It is essential to improve this power supply and its reliability in regions such as Tashkent, where the capital city of Tashkent is located, as its demand for power is high.
Access to hot water and steam, supplied to factories and residences, is of vital importance in major metropolitan areas such as Tashkent. But heat supply facilities have markedly deteriorated in the country. Therefore, the power and heat supply capacity for Tashkent have dropped along with the reliability of supply. Meeting the demand for power has become a priority for the Uzbek government.
Uzbekistan has made efficient and stable use of energy by upgrading existing power plants and cogeneration facilities, as well as developing new power sources that utilize the country’s plentiful natural gas resources.
The process of upgrading production capacity is managed with the participation of the world's leading equipment suppliers such as Hitachi, Kawasaki, and other Japanese companies, receiving financing from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the minister noted.
The JICA signed a loan agreement with the Uzbek government to provide a Japanese Official Development Assistance loan of up to 12 billion yen (some $97 million) for the Tashkent Thermal Power Cogeneration Plant Construction Project on October 25.
The project aims to provide an efficient and sustainable supply of heat and power in Tashkent, thereby contributing to the country’s sustainable economic growth.
The loan funds for the project will be allocated to the construction of the plant and related facilities and to consulting services, such as design work, assistance with bidding, and construction supervision.
The JICA continues to cooperate to boost economic development in Uzbekistan and advance projects in the power sector.
The volume of Uzbek exports will increase by 1.5 times, reaching $25 billion by 2020, according to the minister.
This will be the result of the integration of reforms in the country's economy by 2020, including the modernization and diversification of industries, development of private property, reduction of the state's role and place in the country's economy, the deepening of the localization of production, upgrade of communications and road networks, and reduction of the economy's dependence on energy.
He also noted that the reforms would provide average annual GDP growth of at least 8 percent, including industrial production of no less than 9 percent with the increase of industry shares from 24 percent to 30 percent by 2020.
The reforms are expected to develop the industries of oil and gas, mechanical engineering, petrochemicals, electrical products, textiles, food, pharmaceuticals, and building materials by 2020, Azimov added.
In addition, more than 1,000 new industrial products for almost 100 commodity groups will be developed for the reported period.
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