By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have reached an agreement on the joint construction of two hydropower plants (HPPs) on the Zarafshan River in Tajikistan, the Uzbek Energy Ministry has said in a statement published in local media.
At the first stage, it is planned to build the 140 MW Yavan hydroelectric station with an estimated cost of $282 million, which will designed to generate 700-800 million kWh.
In the next stage, the parties will consider the possibility of building a 135 MW hydroelectric station on the Fandarya River with an estimated cost of $270 million, with 500-600 million kWh generation capacity.
As was noted in the statement, the generated electricity will be exclusively for Uzbekistan needs.
"The project will help maintain the peak capacity of the unified energy system and create jobs during the HPPs construction and operation" the statement reads.
The project’s implementation was discussed during the meeting between Tajik Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Shoimzoda Jamshed Shodi and Uzbek First Deputy Minister of Energy, Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on January 28 to discuss.
The parties discussed the procedure and the terms for equity participation in the construction and operation of hydropower plants. After reaching common agreements, more details will be stipulated in an Electricity Purchase Agreement and Project Feasibility Study, the statement added.
Diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were established on October 20, 1992.
After assuming power in December 2016, the current head of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, firmly stated that he intends to improve relations with its neighbors. In November 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan announced "deep changes in the Tajik-Uzbek relations".
Since early 2018, more than 10 checkpoints have opened on the border of the two countries. Uzbekistan has restored the Galab-Amuzang railway line.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited Dushanbe with an official visit on March 9-10, 2018. The president of Tajikistan and the head of Uzbekistan signed over 27 documents during the visit. In particular, the parties determined the deadlines for demining the Tajik-Uzbek border, abolished visas and agreed to fully restore air traffic.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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