By BBC Monitoring
The government of Uzbekistan will set up a new system for energy monitoring in order to catch all the law-breakers in the electricity and gas sector, the privately-owned news website Podrobno.uz reported on 6 February.
The announcement came during a government meeting chaired by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to bring the energy control system in order, the report said.
"The meeting critically analysed the problems in the supply chain and payments for energy resources. The January frosts clearly showed that management and control in this area have significantly weakened. Contrary to the reports of energy organisations that the automated electricity metering system has been implemented by 92% and the automated natural gas metering system by 98%, consumer debts for these types of resources remain high," it added.
According to the website, the level of theft in Uzbekistan's energy sector remains high. "More than 12,000 cases of illegal usage of electricity and gas in December last year alone resulted in 600bn soms' [$52m] worth of damage. There is no systematic control of natural gas fuelling stations," it said.
In view of the problems, the Uzbek government has decided to set up a new system to ensure better control and enforcement in the energy sector. Energy usage will be monitored "on an emergency basis" for two years. Energy companies were tasked to adopt new approaches to the regulation of electricity and natural gas connections to the grid, the report concluded.
Source: Podrobno.uz website, Tashkent, in Russian 1535 GMT 6 Feb 23