Cooperation Between Uzbekistan and the Republic of Turkey in the Energy Sector


     The Republic of Turkey has a significant experience of successful development of the electric power sector. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey is a reliable and very promising partner of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Cooperation with major Turkish energy companies is not only a modern investment development based on public-private partnership, but also an opportunity to modernize the energy sector of Uzbekistan based on the most modern technologies used by Turkish partners. More than half of Turkey’s total generating capacity is made up of thermal power plants, and the rich experience of Turkish companies in this area is now being used more and more actively in Uzbekistan, which is becoming more attractive to investors as the reforms are being implemented. Uzbek-Turkish cooperation in the energy sector was initiated by participation of a delegation of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the forum “Renewable Energy Prospects: Financing, Investment, Regulation and New Technologies in Turkey, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Western Balkans” (Istanbul, February 13, 2020), where issues of development and integration of renewable sources, their impact on the energy system and cross-border cooperation were discussed. On the sides of the conferences, a number of meetings and negotiations were held, in particular, a meeting was held with the Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey Mr. Alparslan Bayraktar and representatives of the Ministry. During the talks, the Uzbek side expressed interest in learning the successful Turkish experience in reforming the electricity sector and further strengthening cooperation. The Turkish side offered to sign a Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation in the energy sector reform.
     During their stay in Istanbul, members of the Uzbek delegation visited EPIAŞ/EXIST, a market operator that also functions as an energy exchange. The main activity of this company, established in March 2015, is planning, creating, developing and managing the energy market.
     During the talks, the parties discussed opportunities for further cooperation and exchange of experience. The delegation of Uzbekistan was familiarized with the history of the development of the Turkish energy sector and its reform, including good practices and issues that emerged during the transformation. Current market models and prospects for the development of the electric power sector were also presented.
     Members of the Uzbek delegation also met with the Chairman and representatives of the Turkish energy market regulator (EPDK/EMRA) in Ankara. Established in 2001, the company is the main state regulatory body for the Turkish energy market. It was noted that EMRA is an independent state institution, which is an integral element of objective management of energy markets. EMRA’s responsibilities include issuing licenses that define the activities, rights, and responsibilities of companies in the energy markets; tracking companies’ market performance; defining performance standards; creating and monitoring compliance with distribution and customer service rules; and determining pricing principles. The meeting discussed the functions of an independent regulatory body, its impact on market development, attracting foreign and local investment in the sector, and creation of the necessary regulatory framework, tariff setting, and distribution of functions and responsibilities of energy companies.
     Examining the successful reforms of the energy system of the Turkish Republic and the high performance of Turkish energy companies that allowed the country to go to the forefront of the global energy system, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan decided to adopt the Turkish experience of the energy sector development as the basis for reforming the energy sector of Uzbekistan in the framework of the energy cooperation with experts and investors of the Turkish Republic.
     Despite the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine measures, both sides have taken the first concrete steps in this direction, according to which, by the end of 2020, the Turkish company “Cengiz Enerji” should begin the construction of a thermal power plant in Tashkent region with commissioning of the facility within 12 months. The 240 MW TPP project will attract direct Turkish investment of up to $150 million and generate about 2 billion kWh of available electricity per year. The investment agreement of the Uzbek side with “Cengiz Enerji”, as well as the Power Purchase Agreement with the JSC “National Electric Networks of Uzbekistan” with the Turkish company for a period of 25 years were signed on September 11, 2020.
     Another TPP will be built under the public-private partnership (PPP) by the Turkish company “Aksa Enerji Üretim A.Ş.”. The new 240 MW thermal power plant will be located next to the existing Tashkent TPP. In May 2020, the JSC “National Electric Networks of Uzbekistan” and “AKSA Energy” signed a Power Purchase Agreement for 25 years. As part of this project, the Turkish company will build a combined-cycle gas plant (CCGT) with an efficiency of 51% and electricity generation of about 2 billion kWh per year. At the same time, the consumption of natural gas will be about 460 million cubic meters per year (at the rate of 220 cubic meters per 1 MW of electricity), while this figure is 720 million cubic meters for generation of 2 billion kW/h of electricity at the old power units of Tashkent TPP operating today (at the rate of 350 cubic meters per 1 MW). Thus, the operation of the new CCGT will save up to 270 million cubic meters of natural gas per year.
Press service of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan
You can read the whole article in the printed version of the magazine.


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