One of five Central Asian Republics, Uzbekistan, through a decree this month from Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, said it will invest about US$2.65 billion in hydropower development from 2017-2025.
The decree is published in the national database of the Uzbek legislation and indicates the country plans to develop 18 new hydropower projects and modernize 14 existing plants. Target parameters within the decree indicate the share of hydroelectric power stations will increase from the current 12.7% to 15.8%.
Included in the development are two new hydropower plants on Pskem River in the Bostanlyk district of the Tashkent region that include the $810 million 404-MW Pskem and $480 million 240-MW Mullalak.
Funding for the proposed projects, according to the decree, is planned through loans worth over $1 billion from foreign financial organizations. State-owned utility, Uzbekenergo Joint Stock Co. (Uzbekenergo JSC), will develop the plants.
Uzbekistan said it plans for funding development and rehabilitation are through “foreign financial organizations.” The funding will likely be facilitated, in part, from its full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). A portion of SCO’s stated objectives includes expanding trade, investments and connectivity.
SCO member countries include China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Combined, SCO represents 42% of the world’s population, 20% of global gross domestic product and 22% of land.
According to government documents, in recent years, Uzbekistan has sought to improve the energy efficiency in sectors of the economy and the social sphere, as well as extending the use of renewable energy sources.
The most recent decree, “On measures on further development of renewable energy, energy efficiency in sectors of the economy and social sphere for 2017-2021,” issued on June 2, follows two similar decrees made in 2001 and again in 2015.
The latest measure seeks “further reduction of energy intensity of gross domestic product, reducing the production costs and expanding the use of energy from renewable sources.”
Through the decree, Uzbekistan also plans to commission the 100-MW Nijnechatkalskaya hydropower plant, estimated to cost about $180 million, on the Chatkal River in the Bostanlyk district.