Uzbekistan seeks to develop long-term gas cooperation with Russia. This was declared by Uzbek Energy Minister Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov at the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum on November 1, 2023.
Uzbekistan has an annual population growth of almost one million people, and the economy is growing by almost 6%, according to the minister. That requires an increase in energy consumption by at least 10−15%.
“In the last six years alone, electricity consumption has grown by 40%, and we expect the same growth until 2030. Intuitively, the question arises — how to ensure this? Indeed, we are a gas-producing country that used to be a net exporter (of gas), but under current circumstances we are already forced to import natural gas to supply the economy and population,” he elaborated.
Now, Uzbekistan imports gas from Turkmenistan, and from Russia since October 7.
“We intend not to stop there. We intend to develop this cooperation for the long term. Despite the fact that we have very ambitious plans to introduce renewable energy — we want to increase the share of solar and wind energy, (create new) storage systems (for electricity), and work on hydropower — we will not give up gas. Currently, 75% of electricity generation (occurs) at the expense of gas,” the minister outlined.
Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov noted that the share of gas in the energy system will decrease, “but taking into account the growth of electricity consumption in total terms in capacity will remain the same.”
“Along with new generating capacities in the field of renewable sources, we are also introducing new gas generating capacities. This year alone we are commissioning 1.5 GW of a new combined cycle gas turbine plant… While maintaining the level of natural gas consumption in total generation, we plan to increase electricity generation through gas-fired generation almost twofold. That is, we need natural gas, and we will work in this direction,” he claimed.
In addition, Uzbekistan and Russia intend to increase gas processing in the gas chemistry sphere by two-three times, the head of the Ministry of Energy said.
Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov responded to the journalists that Uzbekistan discusses with Gazprom future import volumes of the Russian gas, mainly for the peak fall-winter period. Earlier, he mentioned that 300 million cubic meters of gas have already been delivered from Russia.
The head of Gazprom, Aleksey Miller, said that by the mid-2024, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan plan to determine the obligations in the field of cooperation on gas supply and transit for 15 years. The company expressed readiness to integrate other gas pipeline systems of these countries.