Uzbekistan to begin electricity metering modernization in 2013

Uzbekenergo State Joint Stock Company in early 2013 will begin modernizing the metering system of electricity in the domestic sector of Uzbekistan, Uzbekenergo chairman Batyr Teshabaev said on Tuesday during an international seminar in Tashkent.

According to the Uzbekenergo, a project worth $802 million provides for introduction of an automated system for monitoring and metering of households in all twelve regions. The project will be implemented by the end of 2015.

Under the program, during three years it is planned to introduce a system of data recording, billing system, appropriate communication systems, as well as to install 4.5 million electricity meters at consumers in the 0.4 kV networks throughout the country.

Program will be financed by loans from international financial institutions (IFIs) in the amount of $584 million, as well as equity of Uzbekenergo and the government of Uzbekistan - $218 million.

Earlier it was reported that this year, Uzbekenergo drew loans from the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a total of $330 million for the project in five regions of the country.

In particular, the World Bank has provided the Government of Uzbekistan with $180 million to install 1.2 million electricity meters in Tashkent and two regions of the country - Tashkent and Syrdarya.

ADB allocated $150 million for the installation of one million electricity meters in three regions of the country - Bukhara, Jizzakh and Samarkand.

"Until the end of this year we plan to announce tenders for selection of suppliers of necessary equipment and in early 2013 to begin the active phase of the project," Teshabaev said.

Uzbekenergo chief said that in 2012-2013, the company also plans to raise new loans from MFIs at preliminary volume of $254 million for the completion of the introduction of metering system throughout the country.

In 2013, Uzbekistan plans to attract funds from the Islamic Development Bank in the amount of $110 million to install metering in Navoi, Khorezm regions and the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan.

ADB is expected in the future to provide a second loan at $144 million for the program's implementation in the Ferghana Valley (area of three regions - Andijan, Namangan and Ferghana) as well Kashkadarya region in the south.

In 2009-2012 Uzbekenergo planned to implement a program for the modernization of electricity metering worth $365 million. Later, program's terms and costs have been adjusted.

According to specialists, the project will allow for a decade to reach the energy savings in the residential sector in the amount of 2.75 billion kWh annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1.935 million tons annually.

Uzbekenergo estimates the total loss of electricity at 20 percent with the annual production at 51 billion kWh, including distribution networks - up to 15 percent.

At present, the power system of Uzbekistan has 45 power plants with total capacity of more than 12,400 MW, including the total power of 16 power stations of Uzbekenergo - 12,040 MW. The rest of the electricity is generated by autonomous thermal powers of industry and small hydroelectric power stations belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources. The potential for electricity production is 56-57 billion kWh.