On February 20, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on the issues of implementation of investment projects in electric power industry and further development of the industry.
Electric power industry is one of the important branches providing development of economy and quality of life. The presence of a number of shortcomings in this area hindered the effective implementation of reforms and country’s innovative development.
In connection with this the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan was organized by the resolution of the President. It has been given broad powers on eliminating problems in electric power industry and the oil and gas sector, providing a sustainable supply of economic sectors and the population with fuel and energy resources.
The Investment Program for 2019 includes 33 projects related to electric power industry with a total value of 8.1 billion USD. This year it is planned to master almost 620 million USD and implement 7 major projects.
The President gave instructions on qualitative implementation of these investment projects, elimination of existing shortcomings.
For example, the deadlines for implementation of projects with participation of international financial institutions have been violated – “Laying 220-kV power lines from Takhiatash thermal power station to Khorezm – Sarimoy station”, “Modernization of high-voltage substations”, “Construction of Turakurgan thermal power station”. In this regard, the Ministry of Energy and JSC Uzbekenergo have been tasked to fully master the funds of international financial organizations, implement projects on time and reduce costs.
Unsatisfactory state of activities on modernization of electricity generating capacities was noted. Improper organization of investment policy in the industry, that is, complete lack of attention to attracting direct investment was criticized. As a result, enterprises have to take loans or implement projects at their own expense.
The Head of the state identified important areas of activities in this industry. In particular, it was noted that there are great opportunities for development of alternative energy on the basis of public-private partnership, attracting foreign investment to such projects.
Currently, Uzbekistan, together with Yildirim Group of Turkey, the Masdar Company of the United Arab Emirates and the International Finance Corporation, is working on building solar and wind power plants.
The Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Energy, JSC Uzbekenergo were instructed to find foreign partners for 13 promising projects worth 2.5 billion USD and to develop a roadmap for attracting direct investments. The need for introducing public-private partnership in the industry, determining the procedure and tariffs for purchasing electricity from private producers for attracting direct investments was noted.
Attention was paid to issues of reducing receivables.
Instructions were given on effective use of transit potential of the country in delivery of electricity, acceleration of construction of Surkhan – Puli-Khumri power line.
Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of February 1, 2019 provides for development of a draft resolution on reorganization of JSC Uzbekenergo. The Head of the state noted the need for a clear delineation in this resolution of the functions of producers, suppliers and distributors of electricity, introduction of market relations into the industry, in particular the mechanisms of public-private partnership.
Reports of responsible persons were heard on the issues discussed at the meeting.