Uzbekistan plans to boost hydropower electricity generation with $4.3 bn investments

Uzbekistan at the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is ready to allocate $4.3 billion for development of the hydropower in the country.

In the next five years, Uzbekistan is planning to upgrade and streamline the operation of several hydropower plants by means of cutting edge technologies.

Hydroelectric power plants (HPP) are seen as a very specific type of power generation. Their operation does not require fuel, and electricity is obtained by ‘green way’. However, their construction, and operation in particular, requires special attention to all the processes that take place inside and around the station. Uzbekistan embarked on staged modernization of existing plants yet in the beginning of the 90s of last century. Time zips along, new technologies and equipment come to significantly improve the effectiveness of power generation and bring security of all processes to a new level.

Domestic hydropower plants generate about 11.4% of the total power received. Despite the index, the importance of this sector for the economy should not be underestimated. It is important to realize that hydro energy is not just the production of energy. It also addresses water supply and irrigation problems that are highly relevant for our region, with its traditions of irrigated agriculture. In addition, owing to maneuverability and opportunity of quick and drastic increase in power generation, hydroelectric power plants are seen as a key element of secure operation of the entire power system. That is why Uzbekenergo has been attaching importance to the development of this area.

The company is planning to upgrade and renovate 19 operating hydropower plants by the end of 2020 for the rational use of energy resources and renewable energy development. As a result, their capacity should increase to 118.5 MW with additional generation of 600 million kW/h of electricity, thereby ensuring saving of 250 million cubic meters of natural gas.

The implementation of 30 major investment projects on the establishment of new, upgrade and reconstruction of existing industries will be continued. They envisage the introduction of modern technologies of combined production of electricity and thermal energy on the basis of combined cycle power plants, the increase of the share of solid fuels in the fuel and energy balance through the reconstruction of operating coal-fired power plants, as well as construction of intersystem transmission lines and supporting substations for the transmission of electric power and energy to the deficient power units.

In late May, the head of state said that Uzbekistan will develop renewable energy sources. In June, he signed a decree on a program of measures to develop the hydropower in the country. Under this program, the country plans to build 18 new hydropower plants and implement 14 projects on modernization of HPPs for $2.65 billion.

Mirziyoyev in May visited Syrdarya region. Then he said a new small HPP with the capacity of 15 MW will be built there.

According to the state program, once all these hydropower projects are completed, the share of hydropower in the country’s energy balance will be 15.8% (currently 12.7%).

Former President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov used to oppose the construction of the Rogun HPP in Tajikistan and the Kambar-Ata 1 HPP in Kyrgyzstan. The new Government of Shavkat Mirziyoyev has not yet stated his official position with regad to these large HPPs.

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