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JICA's strategy to help modernizing Uzbekistan's energy sector operator (Exclusive)

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Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7

By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:

Construction of modern power-generating combined-cycle gas turbines is one of the main elements of the strategy of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the energy sector of Uzbekistan, the agency told Trend on Dec. 7.

According to a JICA representative, the agency’s strategy is based on an integrated approach, where various assistance tools, such as loans, technical assistance, gratuitous assistance, training and staff development, complement and enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

"For example, we have plans to build modern combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT), introduce advanced methods within credit projects, create and equip a training center to prepare CCGT operators, conduct advanced training courses in Japan at modern energy facilities," the JICA rep said.

The rep added that the agency intends to continue this strategy further, which should contribute to the modernization of the country's energy operator Uzbekenergo JSC.

According to what Uzbekenergo told Trend, the volume of investments in the energy sector of Uzbekistan exceeded 3.07 trillion soums in the first nine months of 2018, which is seven times more than last year (421.7 billion soums).

Growth in investment, however, did not have a significant impact on the volume of electricity production. In January-September 2018, Uzbekistan produced 45.5 billion kilowatt-hours of energy, compared to 44.7 billion kilowatt-hours a year earlier.

Finance Specialist in Central and West Asia Regional Department at ADB Rafael Abbasov earlier told Trend that it is the right time for Uzbekistan to transform Uzbekenergo, the old, vertically integrated state-owned electricity utility, into a modern, regional energy hub.

The author underlined that to succeed in the energy sector, Uzbekistan must reform its legal, financial and regulatory structure.

Also, according to Abbasov, to achieve trade fairness, Uzbekenergo needs to introduce international corporate governance principles coupled with segmented financial disclosures for generation, transmission, and distribution subsidiaries.

(8314.85 UZS = 1 USD on Dec. 7)

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