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    Tajikistan Turns from Coal to Uzbek Gas


Warmer relations between central Asian nations could lead to a resumption of Uzbek gas sales to its neighbour for the first time in over five years.

by: Ilham Shaban

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Europe, Corporate, Import/Export, Political, News By Country, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Tajikistan Turns from Coal to Uzbek Gas

Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have held two rounds of negotiations since October to resume a Tajik gas purchase deal, halted in April 2012.

The final decision can be achieved in mid-December, Olimdzhon Rahimov, head of the Tajiktransgaz told reporters Nov.7, according to local media. He described that the initial proposed value of $150/”000 m3 ($4.17/mn Btu) as quite “satisfying”, but said the final price would depend on the volume offtaken. “In first stage some 300-800mn m3/yr is needed for industrial sector, especially aluminum and cement plants, which has replaced coal with Uzbek gas since 2012.”

Uzbekistan produced 62.8bn m3 sales gas in 2016, about 8.4% more than 2015, making it the world's 13th largest gas producing country last year. Uzbek gas exports were 11.4bn m3 last year, including 4.3bn m3 to China, which indicates up to two times growth year-on-year. In contrast Tajikistan’s own production is tiny at just 3 million m3/yr (8,220 m3/d). 

Since 2008, Uzbekistan has gradually increased the price of natural gas supplied to Tajikistan from $145 to $300/”000 m3 in 2012, which led to intakes declining by a factor of three to 200mn m3/yr and eventually halting in April 2012.

Two neighbours have had tense relations over water sources, ethnic and political problems whilst former president Islam Karimov ruled Uzbekistan. But the sides have since started negotiations to restore relations.

In other news the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development said November 8 it had entered a "new stage of engagement" with Uzbekistan, and had opened a new EBRD office in Tashkent as well as providing three loans totalling $120mn for new projects. One of hte loans was $100mn to the central bank for on-lending to small and businesses and for trade finance.


Ilham Shaban