In interview with Asia-Plus, Tajik veteran politician Shodi Shabdolov, who is power engineering specialist and Candidate of Sciences in Economics, has shared his opinion on intention of Central Asia’s nations to restore the Central Asian unified power system, the synchronized electric grid of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
“I am convinced that Russia will join the Central Asian power grid under restoration,” said Shabdolov. “Personally, I believe that the Eurasian unified power system stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok will be created in the foreseen future. But for this, there ought to carry out laborious work on creation of new geopolitical and geoeconomic principles of cooperation.”
“Therefore, I consider that the forum on the issue of restoration of the Central Asian unified power grid is timely and of current importance. And the fact that the forum was initiated by Uzbekistan is quite natural because it borders all Central Asian nations and Afghanistan,” Shabdolov added.
Recall, heads Central Asian power suppliers gathered in Almaty, Kazakhstan on May 16 to discuss cooperation.
Heads of national power companies from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan participated in the Almaty meeting.
Tajikistan was presented by Mirzo Ismoilzoda, the head of Barqi Tojik (Tajikistan’s national integrated power company).
A source in the Tajik government says the meeting participants discussed the issue of restoration of the Central Asian unified power system.
According him, the sides have coordinated the draft resolution on the Central Asian unified power grid but it has not yet been signed because the countries must coordinate issues related to transit and power supply tariffs.
Tajik authorities suppose that the regional power grid will be restored in the near future.
Recall, Kazakhstan suspending its participation in the Central Asian unified power grid in February 2009 and redirected electricity supplies for domestic use.
Kazakhstan’s national energy network (KEGOK) said in a statement on February 26, 2009 that extra electricity exports to Tajikistan, for example, led to power outages in southern Kazakhstan.
Uzbekistan officially left the Soviet-era regional power grid that united the country with its three Central Asian neighbors in December 2009.
Tajik authorities that time criticized Uzbekistan’s decision as an effort to put pressure on neighbors. The move left Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan facing severe electricity shortages during the winter months.
Uzbekistan’s geographic location made it one of the most important members of the unified system, as many regions in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan had been supplied with electricity through power lines crossing Uzbek territory.
Tajikistan has repeatedly offered restoration of the Central Asian unified power grid. Tajik power system is fully prepared for operation in parallel with the Central Asian unified power grid. According to the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan (MoEWR), Tajikistan is ready to supply electricity to neighboring countries.
Tajikistan has sufficient summer-time (defined as May 1 to September 30) hydropower surpluses to export to the neighboring countries.
Tajikistan is reportedly able to export up to 5 billion kWh of electricity during summer period. Today, Tajikistan exports 800 million kWh of electricity to Afghanistan and 600 million kWh of electricity to Kyrgyzstan during summer period. The remaining 3.6 billion kWh of Tajikistan’s surplus electricity remain unused during summer period because of withdrawal of Uzbekistan from the Central Asian unified power grid.