Uzbekistan Holds Talks on Exporting Its Gas in New Direction
2017 November 08 ( Tuesday ) 10:17:52
Baku/08.11.17/ Turan: Since October Uzbekistan has already held several rounds of negotiations on selling its gas to a new buyer.
"We held two rounds of talks with Uzbek partners on gas supplies to Tajikistan in mid-October and early November," Olimdzhon Rahimov, head of the Tajiktransgaz (Tajikistan"s gas transportation system operator), told Interfax.
According to him, the talks were held with the representatives of Uztransgaz and Uzneftegaz and are now at the stage of determining the price of gas and the volume of purchases that would satisfy both sides.
"We are waiting for the price they will offer. Preliminarily, it is about prices below market prices. They are interested in selling gas, and we are going to buy it. Until the price is determined, it is impossible to talk about the needs. Beginning in 2013, when gas supplies from Uzbekistan ceased, the republic's enterprises switched to coal, but now many of them are ready to buy gas at an affordable price," Rahimov said.
According to him, the use of natural gas has several advantages over coal. "This is both the ecology and the production costs. The efficiency of using gas is higher than coal. Among the potential buyers are the Tajik aluminum plant, a cement plant, and a thermal power plant," the representative of Tajiktransgaz said.
"If they announce the price before the end of November, and the government of Tajikistan approves it, by the middle of December there is the possibility of concluding an agreement," Rahimov said.
Tajikistan imported natural gas from the neighboring country until early 2013. Since 2008, Uzbekistan gradually increased the price of natural gas for Tajikistan from $ 145 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2008 to $ 300 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2012. Against this background, the volume of deliveries was decreasing: from 600 mcm in 2008 to 200 mcm in 2012.
The own natural gas production in Tajikistan is carried out in small volumes (just over 3 mcm per year) in the south of the country.
The resumption of negotiations on the supply of Uzbek gas to Tajikistan became possible after the warming of the bilateral relations. Under the rule of the ex-President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov political problems periodically happened between the two countries. -0-