TASHKENT. Jan 24 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan will seek alternative gas, electricity and coal suppliers.
Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov asked the Energy Ministry to negotiate with alternative foreign partners for supplies of natural gas, electricity, coal and fuel oil, his press service said following a cabinet meeting.
"The Energy Ministry must this year review issues related to the import of natural gas, electricity, coal and fuel oil, and negotiate with alternative foreign partners," the press service said.
The meeting heard that according to preliminary calculations, the country was capable of producing 56.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2023, up 4.6 bcm from 51.7 bcm last year.
It would be possible to save 1.6 bcm of gas per year through the increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Uzbekistan has faced a major energy crisis during extreme cold weather this winter. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at a recent meeting sharply criticized officials for negligence when preparing for the autumn-winter period.
There has been a gas shortage of up to 20 million cubic meters per day at winter peak periods, so it was decided to step up imports of gas, electricity, coal and fuel oil. The country began importing 1.5 bcm of natural gas from Turkmenistan in winter to meet domestic demand. Turkmenistan suspended gas supplies for technical reasons on January 12-21, but these have now resumed.
Uzbekistan has capacity to produce 70 bcm of gas per year, but these volumes have decreased significantly in recent years due to the depletion of reserves, technological losses and the absence of an effective control system.
The State Statistics Committee said gas production fell 4% in 2022 to 51.7 bcm.
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