NEWS AND EVENTS
June 17, 2014
The Light Story
Electric power industry is like the cardiovascular system of a modern economy. Manufacturers, their equipment, computers, home appliances and many other things cannot operate without electricity.
That is why most countries are concerned about how to supply their populations and economies with reliable energy resources, using traditional fuels, such as gas and coal, and alternative energy generating agents – wind, sun and others.
Uzbekistan’s electric power industry is one the most dynamically growing sectors in Central Asia, concentrating on increasing the efficiency of the existing generating facilities rather than on building new ones – through modernization and introduction of new technologies and innovative approaches.
The electric power complex of the nation consists of 39 generating stations. Their total capacity is 12.5 million kWh, which is 50% of the United Central Asia Power System. Most of them are thermal power stations consuming natural gas and coal. Providing for stable electricity supply, they generate 90% of the total electric energy produced in the country. The local hydroelectric power stations have the total capacity of 1.4 million kWh. Most of them are parts of river hydroelectric power chains.
The total length of the country’s electric grid is over 242,000 kilometers, which allows for covering all the local consumers by the centralized electric supply zone. Located in the very heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan’s electric power system, a basic part of the United Central Asia Power System, plays a major role in the regional electric power market. Our republic exports electricity to Afghanistan, for instance, helping that country to develop its economy. The state joint stock company Uzbekenergo is the main coordinating body of Uzbekistan’s electric power system. This integrated company comprises the industry’s power stations, energy supply infrastructure, as well as electricity sales, construction and maintenance affiliates.
Uzbekistan is planning to implement a major program of technological re-equipment of its electric power industry in the near future. The program includes 15 modernization and thermal power station upgrading projects, with new 2,329MW-strong generation facilities to be launched, as well as 9 hydroelectric facilities projects to bring another 63.8MW to the total country’s electric power production.
At the end of 2014, the Russian holding company Power Machines, which combines a few manufacturers, is planning to complete the modernization of the two generation units of Sirdaryo Thermal Power Station, 300MW each. The worth of the turnkey agreement with the holding is $57 million. It provides that Power Machines is to upgrade the turbine, generator, boiler and auxiliary equipment of the two units, set up automatic control systems, and perform general installation, supervision, and commissioning works. This modernization is to result in another 50MW of the total capacity of the two units. The project is funded by Uzbekenergo ($33.7 million) and a loan from Agrobank (60 billion soums). The total worth of the project is $73.6 million. Sirdaryo Thermal Power Station is the largest in Central Asia; its total capacity is 3,000MW (ten generation units of 300MW each).
Combined cycle gas turbine and gas turbine generation units of 1,775MW in total are currently being built at Tashkent, Talimarjon and Navoi thermal stations. The new units are to have much better specifications allowing each station to save up to 360 million cubic meters of fuel annually. Under Navoi Thermal Power Station reinforcement project, for instance, another 450MW-strong combined cycle gas turbine unit is to be installed. The project is to be funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (33.01 billion yens) and a loan from the Reconstruction and Development Fund of Uzbekistan ($150 million). Besides, $45.8 million is to be allocated by Uzbekenergo. The total worth of this project is to exceed $547.2 million. In the hydroelectric sector, the wheels of the water turbine generators at Chorvoq Hydroelectric Power Station are being renewed, which will allow for production of another 45MW. The project is funded by the Reconstruction and Development Fund of Uzbekistan too.
Hydroelectric Power Station-14 of Lower Bozsu Chain and Farkhod Hydroelectric Power Station are also being modernized to produce 4.3MW and 13MW more respectively. These two projects are funded by the Islamic Development Fund.
The construction of Turaqurgon Thermal Power Station in Namangan Region and Uzbekistan’s first solar power station in Samarkand Region are going to be the most sophisticated projects in the industry. The general capacity of Turaqurgon Thermal Power Station will be 900MW.
It will have two modern 450MW-strong combined cycle gas turbine units, which will provide the Farghona Valley population, businesses and organizations with reliable electric power supply and offer new jobs.
The 100MW photovoltaic power station in Samarqand Region, the construction of which was launched by Uzbekistan and the Asian Development Bank last year, is going to be the first such station in Central Asia. Besides, the parties established the International Solar Energy Institute in Tashkent. It is to generate new joint projects in the area of renewable energy resources for Uzbekistan and other countries.
A number of wind power engineering projects has also been launched in the republic. Under an agreement with the German companies Intec-GOPA and GEONET, the wind power industry potential of the country is to be researched into. German specialists are to perform the following: develop the local wind power date resource system, with Uzbekistan’s wind atlas in it; determine technical, ecological and social risks; assign two pilot locations and conduct thorough meteorological research into them; and work out a preliminary feasibility study report, with the requirements of wind power equipment manufacturers incorporated in it.
Uzbekistan’s electric power industry also takes active measures to increase the efficiency of electric energy consumption. With the help of loans from the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank, Uzbekenergo networks are being equipped with sophisticated billing system. With this system installed, the local consumers are to be provided with over 5.5 million new electronic energy meters. Besides, a major program of transition to energy-efficient lighting is being implemented in the country. In 2011, a program of energy saving bulbs production was approved. According to it, the production of such bulbs in the country is to increase more than fourfold (up to 28.7 million pieces) in 2015. The manufacture of the local energy saving LED bulbs was organized in Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone and Angren Special Industrial Zone (Egl-Nur JV).
Uzbekistan’s electricity consumers currently use over 43 million conventional 60-Watt incandescent bulbs. Their total capacity is over 2,900MW, with the consumption of 6.4 billion kWh. If all of them are replaced with LED bulbs, the total consumption will be 5 billion kWh less, which will allow for saving 1.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas or 5 million tons of coal.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)