Uzbekistan seeks energy hub status
Uzbekistan can become a energy hub for Central Asia, its first deputy energy minister Azim Ahmedkhadzhayev said at a forum in Tashkent on September 30.
Regional cooperation over the past five years has made joint investments in energy projects possible, the minister said, citing Uzbekistan's continuing construction of high-voltage power links connecting its grid with those of its neighbours.
"Regional integration in the field of energy will allow the development and implementation of investment projects that will serve not only the good of the host country through energy generation, but will also benefit neighbouring countries by covering peak overloads as a result of coordination and interconnections of energy system," Ahmedkhadzhayev said.
Uzbekistan produces most of its power with natural gas, and is looking to double its generation capacity by 2030, while expanding renewable sources to 25% of the mix. Uzbekistan is ideally situated in the heart of central Asia to serve as an energy hub, the minister said, and since the Soviet era, a control centre situated in Tashkent has guided the energy systems of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
The minister also pointed to reforms Uzbekistan has undertaken to introduce a more market-based energy system and increase private investment, including the creation of the energy ministry and the restructuring of state power company Uzbekenergo.