Uzbekistan to build two small hydroelectric plants in 2011

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Sept. 4 / Trend D.Azizov /

The State Joint-Stock Company Uzbekenergo plans to begin construction of two small hydroelectric plants (HPS) with a total capacity of 120 megawatts in the Surkhandar region in south Uzbekistan in early 2011, the company has told Trend.

The planned capacity of the Zarchob HPS on the Tupalangdarya River will be 90 megawatts while the capacity of the Nilo-II HPS on the Sangardakdarya River is planned to be 30 megawatts.

The stations will be built using the "non-dam principle" to exploit the natural flow of the rivers without the need to build dams and canals to generate power.

It is expected that feasibility studies for the projects will be complete by late 2010.

According to preliminary calculations, the total construction cost of the plants will be about $149 million, with the Zarchob HPS costing about $116 million and the Nilo-II HPS costing about $33 million. The project will be financed Uzbekenergo, the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan and Uzbek banks.

The HPSs are expected to be commissioned in 2013.

Uzbekistan plans to build nine small hydroelectric plants at a cost of $255.7 million between 2010 and 2014. Uzbekenergo's plan is based on small- and medium-sized hydroelectric plants with a total capacity of 323.6 megawatts, to be built on the country's natural watercourses, to increase the share of renewable energy in the country's energy needs.

The company has also established four large hydroelectric plants with a total capacity of 203.6 megawatts. The preliminary estimated cost of the plants is $227.8 million in the Tashkent region and $148.9 million in the Surkhandar province.

The country also plans to construct a small Camelot Hydropower Plant under the Chirchik-Bozsu Tract, worth about $11.3 million with an annual design capacity of eight megawatts by late 2012. The plant will allow 35 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to be produced per year, which is equal to fuel savings of 11 million cubic meters of natural gas per year. Uzbekenergo will invest $3.3 million from its own funds in the construction of the plant and $8 million from loans.

Uzbekistan has dozens of reservoirs, irrigation canals and mountain rivers where the country can build 141 power plants, experts say, with a total capacity of 1.180 megawatts and annual power generation of 4.6 billion kilowatt-hours.

To date, the country has put into operation seven stations with a total capacity of 200 megawatts. There are 42 power plants with a total capacity of 12.358 million megawatts in the power generation system. Uzbekenergo's 10 thermal power plants with an installed capacity of 10.6 million kilowatt-hours produce 90 percent of the total volume.

Uzbekistan decreased power production last year by 0.3 percent to 49.954 billion kilowatt-hours compared to 2007. From January to June 2010, power production increased by 3.1 percent to 25.945 billion kilowatt-hours compared to the same period in 2009.

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