DUSHANBE, February 25, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- Only 2.5 percent of Dushanbe residents are currently provided with natural gas.

According to Dushanbegaz, only residents of small part of neighborhood # 46 and some residential buildings in the city’s Ismoili Somoni district now have natural gas.  “Until recently, we supplied gas also to a part of Shohmansour district, but the gas-supply was cut off due to debts,” the source said.

Residential customers in Ismoili Somoni district are provided with Uzbek gas and they pay 1,688 somoni (US$383.00) per 1,000 cubic meters, while residential customers in neighborhood # 46 receive natural gas from the Qizil-Tumshuq field in Khatlon province and they pay 833.00 somoni (US$189.00) per 1,000 cubic meters.

In the meantime, Tojiktransgaz (Tajik natural-gas distributor) says Uzbekistan now supplies 500,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day to Tajikistan.  Uzbek gas is mainly distributed to the Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO) and Tojikcement (Dushanbe cement plant).

We will recall that in the first quarter of 2011, Tajikistan is receiving Uzbek natural gas at the rate of US$227.85 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Last year, an average price of 1,000 cubic meters of Uzbek natural gas for Tajikistan was US$240.00.  In the first quarter of 2010, the price of 1,000 cubic meters of Uzbek gas was US$231.00 and in the fourth quarter, it rose to US$254.00.

This year, Tajikistan plans to buy some 180 million cubic meters of natural gas from Uzbekistan.  The gas prices vary quarterly depending on the world trends and Tajikistan must make prepayments every ten days.