Power cuts in Uzbekistan persist despite new 1.7 billion kWh power plant

Power cuts in Uzbekistan persist despite new 1.7 billion kWh power plant
Power cuts in Uzbekistan persist despite new 1.7 billion kWh power plant

Uzbekistan has inaugurated a new power plant that will add enough generation capacity to power around 230,000 homes, but even that will not be enough to solve the current electricity deficit crisis.

The power station built in Khovos district, Syrdaryo province, was commissioned on November 20 and will be able to produce up to 1.7 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, the energy ministry said. . said. The plant was built by the Turkish company Cengiz Energy.

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The Khovos plant was supposed to start operating on October 25, but that date has been pushed back.

This is only part of the government’s attempts to meet growing demand.

Last week, Deputy Energy Minister Sherzod Khodjayev told reporters that daily electricity demand in Uzbekistan was around 245 million kilowatt hoursbut that the production reserves were only 230 million kilowatt hours.

At the beginning of October, the Ministry of Energy declared that almost 35 billion kilowatt hours of electricity would be provided to consumers during the fall-winter season. That’s about 2.5 billion kilowatt hours more than the same time last year.

Some desperate measures have been adopted to cover the shortfall. Since the middle of this month, many streetlights were not turned on in the capital, Tashkent. The Department of Energy’s National Dispatch Center said it was disconnecting high-voltage grids according to a pre-established schedule to control consumption and prevent unexpected power outages.

Khojayev also said that Uzbekistan was virtually stopping the export of natural gas and instead resorting to increasing its imports to meet rising demand. He said by November 16, daily gas exports had fallen from 10 million cubic meters to 1 million cubic meters, while imports had increased by 20%.

Meanwhile, households across the country have reported constant power outages. Rural areas have experienced particularly pronounced problems.

By Eurasianet.org

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