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Uzbekistan wraps up new hydropower plant on time despite pandemic

Uzbekhydroenergo commissions Zarchob Hydropower after 4-year construction project

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Uzbekistan’s state hydropower producer and developer, Uzbekhydroenergo, announced on March 30 the commissioning of Zarchob Hydropower Plant (Zarchob small HPP-1) after a four-year construction project.

The project, which commenced in August 2017 following a Presidential Decree, was completed on time despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and has started to satisfy industrial and commercial demand for electricity in the Surkhandarya region, Uzbekhydroenergo said.

“Today’s successful commissioning means our country’s hydropower potential is actively growing, and we thank Uzbekistan’s hydropower engineers for their outstanding due diligence, dedication, and work,” Uzbekhydroenergo Chairman Abdugani Sanginov said. “Commissioning of the Zarchob small HPP-1 plant will make an important contribution to an optimal use of Uzbekistan’s natural resources, boost energy efficiency and increase renewable energy’s share in our country’s energy mix,” he added.

Senior representatives from Uzbekhydroenergo and UE Tupalang HPP, as well as staff from Zarchob small HPP-1 attended the commissioning ceremony for the plant.

This project is one of several ongoing investment projects to construct new hydropower plants and modernise existing ones. It is part of Uzbekistan’s ambitious national energy strategy to generate a quarter of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030, the Uzbek Energy Ministry said, reminding that the strategy aims for 3.8 GW of hydro energy, 5 GW of solar energy and up to 3 GW of wind energy.

In 2020, Uzbekhydroenergo commissioned six HPP modernisation and construction projects with total capacity of 118.3 MW, capable of producing 543 million kWh of electricity. The projects created 103 new jobs and the total cost was $212.6 million, $101.4 million from Uzebekhydroenergo’s own funds and $111.2 million of foreign loans.

The Zarchob plant is in the Sariasia district of Surkhandarya region of Uzbekistan. It has two hydroelectric units with total capacity of 37.4 MW and uses water from the Tupalang River via a 480-meter tunnel and a 1,300-meter canal.

The construction project was developed by Hydroproject, a subsidiary of Uzbekhydroenergo, with construction executed by To’palang HPD Platinum.

Hydraulic equipment was supplied by Dongfang Electric International Corporation, leading Chinese company, with assembly and installation by highly qualified international and Uzbek specialists together with Chinese specialists.

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Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media

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