Distance is no Barrier to Upgrading Uzbekistan's Power Sector
Video | 20 October 2016
In a truly global effort, generator components for the Talimarjan gas-fired plant in southern Uzbekistan were sourced from the four corners of the world to bring cleaner, more efficient power to a remote part of the country.
At the heart of the fabled Silk Road is one of the country's least developed regions.
A region rich in gas resources, but short of power generation capacity, where modern energy infrastructure is needed to meet growing energy demand.
Through a $340 million loan, ADB supported the development of two new units at the Talimarjan power plant, for a total of 880MW.
Getting there, however, was not easy.
Transporting heavy machinery from as far away as Japan, [Republic of] Korea, Europe, and the US, required a mammoth effort.
The two 400 tonnes gas turbines travelled over 16,800 kms from Japan.
The turbines were transported by boat to the port of Kuriyk, Kazakhstan, on the Caspian Sea. From there, the journey continued overland on a heavy duty, swivel trailer with as many as 48 axels and 1,056 tires.
The convoy travelled across Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, moving at around 5 km/hour.
All together, the turbines' journey from Japan to the power plant site took over 1 year.
The new turbines will greatly increase the plant's energy efficiency.
SOT: Murod Karimov
Talimarjan power plant
"The new turbines have an efficiency of around 55%, compared to 37% of the old unit. This means that the new units will save 500 million cubic meters of gas per year."
Energy efficiency will bring huge social and economic benefits to the region. Consumers will spend less as costs fall, while financial returns for utility Uzbekenergo are set to increase.
Electricity will no longer be imported from northern Uzbekistan, but generated on site with gas from the Shurtan gas field, 30 km from the plant.
SOT: Shovkat Akhmedov
Deputy head of unit operation
Talimarjan power plant
"The first unit was commissioned in August 2016. It's already operating and running at 300MW, feeding electricity to the grid. When fully operational, it will reach 450MW."
In the future, the plan is to install two additional gas turbine units, bringing the total generation capacity to 2,700MW.
Surplus power will then be exported to Afghanistan, and possibly to Pakistan.
This will help Uzbekistan develop a modern power infrastructure supporting economic growth at home and in the region.