DUSHANBE, August 14, Asia-Plus - Compared to January-June 2005 a 5-10 percent increase in the price coal has been reported over the first six months of this year, according to information from the Ministry of Energy.  

The source says the price hike has resulted from the rising prices of fuel.  In January-June this year, Tajikistan has extracted 27,286 tons of coal, which is 3,000 tons fewer compared to the same period of 2005.   According to experts from the Ministry of Energy, reduction in extraction of coal in the country is connected with preparatory work being done on some of the country’s coalfields.  

Sughd tops Tajikistan’s regions in extraction of coal.  The northern province of Sughd has extracted 20,415 tons of coal so far.  The districts subordinate to the center have extracted 6,771 tons of coal, and the Khatlon province – 340 tons.  Experts expect Tajikistan to extract 105,200 tons of coal this year.  

At present more than 30 places on realization of coal are functioning in Tajikistan.  The prices of coals have fluctuated from 33.2 Somonis to 115.00 Somonis per ton, depending on the coals grade, while the cost prices of coals have fluctuated from 30.00 Somonis to 90.00 Somonis.

In the meantime, the Czech Republic has expressed readiness to invest in the launch of joint venture on the basis of the “Koni Angishti Ziddi” (Ziddi coalfield) enterprise in Tajikistan.  “Czech specialists visited Tajikistan two years ago to familiarize themselves with a state of the Ziddi coalfield and expressed readiness to participate in launching the joint venture, but for unknown reasons the work has not yet been started,” the Asia-Plus interlocutor said.  According to Tajik experts, the estimated budget for launching the joint enterprise on the basis of the Ziddi coalfield is more than 2 million U.S. dollars.   

The source says Tajikistan plans to drum up more than 90 million U.S. dollars in development of the coal industry in the coming four years.  “(0 percent of this amount will be foreign investments,” the Asia-Plus interlocutor said.  According to him, these funds will go to purchasing up-to-date equipment, transport means, and reconstructing and constructing quarries.  

At present Tajikistan has 14 enterprises extracting coal.  The majority of them are located in the northern province of Sughd.  According to information from Tajikistan Chief Geology Administration “Tojikgeologiya”, Tajikistan has reserves containing an estimated more than 4 billion tons.