According to the Energy Minister Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov, the possibility of supplying gas from Russia to Uzbekistan is being explored via the Central Asia-Center (CAC) gas pipeline. The Minister made this announcement during the Tashkent Investment Forum held on 27 April, as reported by Gazeta.uz.
According to him, the Bukhara-Urals gas pipeline running from Uzbekistan through Kazakhstan to Russia is not suitable because of its obsolescence.
For this reason the CAC pipeline, running from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Russia, is being considered. The parties are currently assessing the costs required to install and repair compressor stations in order to deliver gas in reverse order.
“First we will estimate the costs. Based on the costs, a price will be set. And after that we will discuss supply,” the minister said.
In late November 2022, it became known that Russia proposed Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to create a “triple gas union”. The Russian side said that the proposal does not imply gas supply in exchange for political terms, but that it is a question of coordination of commercial interests.
Energy Minister Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov said in December, amid an energy crisis that began in Uzbekistan with the onset of cold weather, that Uzbekistan is in talks to import gas from its neighbours as part of a commercial contract, not through “some alliance or union”.
In January, the Uzbek and Kazakh energy ministries signed a road map with Russia’s Gazprom for gas cooperation.
In March, TASS, citing a report by Russia’s Energy Development Center, reported that Gazprom could increase gas supplies to China by transit through Central Asia to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
“We expect that by the end of this year Gazprom will be able to agree on the supply of up to 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, of which 4−6 billion cubic meters will be transit gas to China. In our view, upgrading the Central Asia-Center pipeline infrastructure to supply 20−25 billion cubic meters of gas per year could take about a year,” the report said.
In addition, Gazprom could export up to 10 billion cu.m. of gas through Uzbekistan to China. The advantage of this route is that Uzbekistan’s gas transportation system is connected to the Central Asia-China gas pipeline, analysts said.
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The main obstacle to exports along this route could be the current state of the Central Asia-Centre pipeline, which was built in the 1960s, which could require additional investment to upgrade the infrastructure.