By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan is increasing its electricity self-sufficiency through large-scaled projects implemented since 2018.
This was stated during the meeting between President Ilham Aliyev and Baba Rzayev, the head of Azerbaijan’s largest electric power producer, AzerEnergy OJSC on December 16.
During the meeting, the president praised the country’s recent achievements ion electricity security, saying: “Many power plants have been built in recent years. At present, Azerbaijan fully provides itself with electricity. At the same time, we have export opportunities. This year, by taking important steps, we launched new generation facilities. First of all, the launch of the “Shimal-2” power plant is a significant event. The 400-megawatt station has significantly increased our energy potential”.
Aliyev also touched upon the restoration of the Mingachevir power plant after last year’s accident in summer. He mentioned that in this regard, the construction of the “Shimal-2” station with a capacity of 400 megawatts in Baku serves a more even distribution of energy in the country.
“Shimal-2” power plant is the only substation in the South Caucasus that consumes 214-216 grams of standard fuel depending on the mode. It is very economical - its efficiency is 57.4 percent, and 3.2 billion kilowatt/hours of energy are produced per year and currently operates at 380 megawatts.
During the meeting, Aliyev was informed about Azerenerji’s work aimed at eliminating breakdowns. Thus, according to the President’s instruction, overhaul on five blocks of the “Azerbaijan” thermal power plant has already been completed. The 500-kilovolt open switchgear has been reconstructed and more than 80 percent of the work has been completed on the 330-kilovolt switchgear.
Babayev said that 200 megawatts have already been restored and it is expected to increase not 300, but 400 in summer and 500-550 megawatts in winter.
It was stated that installation of undergrounds has been completed by 100 percent. The central control panel is already located in the main office of the Baku Underground, where handover work has been completed. A total of 17 generators with a capacity of 2,500, 2,000 and 1,000 kilovolts have been installed at 10 substations and a new power source of 39 megawatts has been created and transferred to the reserve.
Underlining the importance of renewable energy resources Aliyev said: “There is another issue that should always be in the spotlight. It is the creation of renewable energy. I am glad that foreign investors are also showing great interest in this area. The Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan is dealing with this issue now, a tender has been announced and companies with extensive experience in this field are participating. In other words, it is gratifying that companies interested in investing in Azerbaijan are competing with each other. We used to try to convince investors to invest in Azerbaijan but now they are showing interest themselves. We must determine the winner of the tender on the basis of open and transparent bidding. This is gratifying because we are talking about the construction of renewable energy plants with a capacity of approximately 400-500 megawatts. At the same time, I attended the opening of a state-owned wind farm in Azerbaijan. The capacity of the station is 50 megawatts”.
In this regard, the President was reported that currently Yashma wind farm operates with a capacity of 50 megawatts. In 2018, it achieved the production of 60 million and in 2019 of 80 million kilowatt/hours of energy. Furthermore, all design estimates for the 84-megawatt Shurabad wind farm to the right of the Baku-Guba highway between the old and new roads have already been prepared, issues of land acquisition and power lines have been resolved.
Furthermore, Aliyev highlighted growing domestic demand for electricity: “We need to know that domestic needs are growing and will continue to grow. First of all, the growing population dictates the need for commissioning new capacities. On the other hand, the number of foreign visitors to our country exceeded 3 million this year. Therefore, the energy potential of the service sector should be increased, certainly. And, of course, the main issue is the growing industry. This year, industrial production in our non-oil sector increased by 14 percent. Today we are implementing other projects related to industrialization. Industrial parks, industrial estates, new industrial enterprises are being set up. All of them require energy. Therefore, we must take strategic steps so that the needs of Azerbaijan, including those related to industrial production, are always met by generating capacities, substations and power lines, so that there are no problems. Just like there are no problems today”.
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