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Business Opportunity: Energy Efficiency in Uzbekistan

General Information

Uzbekistan’s economic reforms were extended to energy sector in 2019 when the government launched a transition from the state-owned and subsidized energy sector to competitive market with substantial private-sector participation and competitive energy prices (the power market of Uzbekistan was divided into three parts: generation, transmission, and distribution). The aim of the reform is to diversify the country’s energy mix, while natural gas will continue to dominate the energy market. Uzbekistan’s economy is one of the most energy-intensive in the world and has high potential for improving energy efficiency.

Breakdown of energy consumption

In Uzbekistan, the residential sector is the largest energy consumer, with a share around 50%  of the total final energy consumption, followed by the industry and transport sectors at 22% and 20%, respectively.
In the public buildings sector, heating is responsible for about 70% of the energy consumption in regional hospitals, 84% in pre-schools, 88% in rural clinics, and 97% in public schools.
Annual energy savings potential from increased energy efficiency in pre-school, public school, and health care facilities, amounts to over 7,000 GWh.

National power electric grid of Uzbekistan is the main player on electricity market of Uzbekistan. The company consists of 14 regional networks and responsible for the development and operation of the main electric networks, transmission substations, etc.  The company is open for cooperation with foreign companies (In May 2023, the company has signed memorandum of cooperation with Huawei, also in May 2023 EBRD has announced to finance the construction of a new high voltage electricity line, etc.). The company is responsible for procurement of electrical equipment (for example in May 2023, they have signed $9.5 million contract to supply equipment for modernization of transition substations, etc.)

Thermal Power Plants (TPP) is the main player on generation market, the majority of gas-fired power plants in Uzbekistan are operated by TPP. The company also open for cooperation with foreign partners (for example in May 2023, TPP has signed €72 million contract with Siemens for supply of gas turbines, etc.)

Energy Crisis in Uzbekistan

During the cold winter 2022\23 Uzbekistan has faced for a second time a sever energy crisis in heat and power supply and generally in power grid system.

Low temperature caused decline in gas pipelines pressure (in Uzbekistan 90% of the power is produced by gas power plants), as a result temperature reduced in the heat supply system, the residents started to use more electric heaters, so the local power grid system was significantly overwhelmed, and electricity transformers often switched off. This problem was acknowledged by the President of the country. There were protests due to the lack of heat, lights and gas. Also, electricity cut-offs several times per day were quite common. Electricity transformers often switched off. The mayor of Tashkent was discharged because of this situation.

Uzbekistan (Tashkent in particular) is in need for dramatic improvement of power and heat supply systems.
Most of the public buildings were developed in the 1970s–1980s with little attention to energy efficiency. Thus, the facilities are poorly insulated, operate below thermal comfort standards, and use old boilers and water heating systems with high energy intensity.

Seize the opportunity

Based on the state “Concept of Providing the Republic of Uzbekistan with Electricity for 2020-2030, Uzbekistan is expected to implement  investment projects worth around  $35 billion (to increase electricity production from 63.6 billion kWh to 120.8 billion kWh, to reduce electricity transmission losses by 1,85 times compare to 2019, and other ambitious targets).
Around $10 billion is  required to spend on the reconstruction and modernization of 39.600 transformer substations and transmission lines.

Around $17 billion is required to spend on the construction of new power plants with a total capacity of 15 GW.

In 2022 the World Bank has approved $143 million credit to Uzbekistan to improve energy efficiency of public buildings.

Target Sectors

Energy Generation
Smart Grids
Flexible energy solutions
Distributed energy production
Energy Storage
Clean and renewable energy

Solutions or products needed

Overall energy efficiency improvements. Boilers and heat pumps: need for more efficient heat exchangers, higher efficiency boilers, and heat pumps. Finnish companies can benefit of these challenges especially in the areas of industrial energy efficiency and decentralized energy generation, improving the transmission grids’ reliability, and reducing transmission losses. There is also a strongly growing interest for different types of waste-to-energy solutions, for distributed generation in remote communities throughout the country.

The main exhibitions and events  in Uzbekistan

Power Uzbekistan 2023 (14 – 16 May 2024, Tashkent)
16th  international exhibition on energy, energy saving, nuclear energy, alternative energy sources.
It is the leading event among the energy events in Uzbekistan and it is considered to be the largest and most visited event in the industry.

UzEnergyExpo 2023 (25 – 27 October 2023, Tashkent)
International exhibition focusing on  energy, energy efficiency, energy supply, etc.

TF activities available for Finnish companies

Team Finland network can support Finnish companies in the activities in Uzbekistan:
– EastCham Finland
Roving Ambassador for Central Asia, Ilkka Räisänen

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Altyn Shakirkhanova, Senior Business Advisor / Head of EastCham Branch in Kazakhstan [email protected].

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