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Tajikistan in Landmark Power Deal With Uzbekistan

Their ties have been strained for much of the quarter-century since independence, but Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are moving swiftly to patch things up.

16 February 2018

One significant new connection between Tashkent and Dushanbe is expected to start working in April, when Tajikistan begins exporting electricity to its neighbor.


The two sides have reached an agreement for Tajikistan to supply 1.5 billion kilowatt hours of power between April and September, although pricing details remain to be confirmed, the head of Tajikistan’s state power company Barki Tojik, Mirzo Ismoilzoda, said Wednesday, reports.


Tajikistan produced 18 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2017, sufficient to provide power without imposing limits, Azerbaijan’s Azernews says.


The five Central Asian countries were once connected in a unified power grid, which comprised 83 power plants with total capacity of 25,000 megawatts, according to Azernews. The grid faltered when first Turkmenistan in 2003, then Uzbekistan in 2009 left the system.


Uzbekistan began prioritizing regional energy integration after President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in 2016, Eurasianet writes.


Barki Tojik officials said Tajikistan and Uzbekistan also reached an agreement in principle on restoring the grid.


Tajikistan already exports electricity to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, but the volumes are modest. Exports to Afghanistan in 2017 came in at 1.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, netting Tajikistan around $50 million. Afghanistan would like to receive greater volumes in winter, but Tajikistan cannot spare the capacity.



  • Tajikistan’s central bank intends to open exchange offices on the borders with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Tajik media are reporting, according to Azernews. The bank ordered all private exchange offices to close in 2015 in a bid to stabilize the currency and “protect the interests” of bank clients.


  • The two countries also plan more transport links, building on regulations allowing Tajik and Uzbek nationals to visit the other country for up to 30 days visa-free, Asia-Plus reports. Regular air routes between Dushanbe and the Uzbek cities of Bukhara and Samarkand are planned, and Uzbek Airways began regular flights between Tashkent and Dushanbe in April, Tajik Transport Minister Khudoyor Khudoyorzoda told journalists yesterday.


  • The two sides also agreed to open several bus links.


  • Work is also under way to restore a rail line between southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Khudoyorzoda said. The line ceased to function nearly a decade ago when the Uzbek side began delaying Tajik freight trains in a display of anger over Dushanbe’s Rogun Dam project, claiming it would cut off the supply of irrigation water to Uzbekistan’s cotton industry.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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