The governments of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are currently negotiating on restoring the parallel operation of power systems in the framework of restoration of the united Central Asian Power System (CAPS), Kazakhstan's Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev told Trend.
According to him, the unified energy system of Kazakhstan is currently operating in a parallel mode with the energy systems of Russia and the CAPS (Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan).
The minister reminded that the CAPS was formed in the period of the USSR as a single energy complex of a large economic region.
“A closed 500-kilowatt power grid (the so-called 500-kilowatt ring) was built as a connecting link of the CAPS, passing through the territories of four republics - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. However, Turkmenistan withdrew from the parallel work of the CAPS in 2003,” Bozumbaev said.
The energy minister, referring to the data of the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), noted that the unbalanced production and consumption of electricity in the CAPS in 2009 repeatedly led to overloads and emergency shutdowns of 500-kilowatt communication lines linking the north and the south of Kazakhstan.
“Such overloads were accompanied by deep restrictions of consumers in electricity in all parallel operating power systems and by violations of the economy and social sphere of the Central Asian states.
In this regard, Uzbekistan decided to cut off 500-kilowatt communication lines with the Tajik energy system in late October 2009, allocating it to an isolated operation mode,” Bozumbayev concluded.
Uzbekistan is currently working on joining Afghanistan to the unified energy ring of Central Asia. To this end, a new power line, Surkhan-Puli-Khumri, will be constructed. The preliminary cost of the project is $150 million, $32 million of which will be spent on work in Uzbekistan. The remaining $118 million will be spent in Afghanistan. The payback period of the project is 12 years.