DUSHANBE, January 28, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Uzbekistan intends to raise price for electricity supplied to Tajikistan by 50 percent.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Industries (MoEI), Uzbekistan now supplies electricity only to the Panjakent district in Sughd province.

“Uzbekistan supplies up to 600,000 kWh of electricity to Panjakent per day at the rate of 4 cents per one kWh and they intend to raise the price to 6 cents per one kWh,” the source at a MoEI said.  According to him, Panjakent is the only area that is not yet connected to the country’s unified power system, and therefore, Tajikistan is forced to import electric power for this district from neighboring Uzbekistan.

“Uzbekistan has not clarified the reason for raising its electricity prices for Tajikistan and we are currently conducting negotiations with our Uzbek partners for the purpose of keeping prices at current level,” he added.

The MoEI specialists say construction of a 220 kV power transmission line from Khujand to Ayni will allow tackling the power supply problems in the Zarafshon Valley (Panjakent, Ayni and Kuhistoni Mastchoh districts).

According to the data from Barqi Tojik (Tajik electricity supplier), Tajikistan last year imported 54.8 million somoni (equivalent to US$12.4 million) worth of electric power from Uzbekistan, which is 45.1 million somoni (US$10.2 million) more than in 2009., the Barqi Tojik top manager said.