Uzbekistan has resumed delivering natural gas to the Tajik northern province of Sughd after 10-year interruption, Abdulhakim Soufiyev, director of the Closed Joint-Stock Company (CJSC) Sughdgaz (Sughd natural gas distributor), told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, the gas will be provided for needs of both industrial enterprises and residential customers.   

“It is estimated that the Uzbek gas will be delivered to the Sughd province at the rate of 2.00 somoni per one cubic meter,” Soufiyev said.  

Recall, Uzbekistan resumed delivering natural gas to Tajikistan in early April 2018, ending a six-year hiatus precipitated by diplomatic differences.  The Uzbek gas has been tunneled to Tajikistan through the Muzrabad-Dushanbe pipeline and intended mostly to provide for the needs of the Tajik aluminum smelter and some other industrial enterprises. In 2018, the Uzbek gas was delivered to Tajikistan at US$120 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Uzbek gas supplies were suspended in 2012 over what the government in Tashkent claimed were domestic shortages. This explanation was only partly true, however. The underlying motivation for the suspension in deliveries was the Uzbek objection to Tajik plans to build the giant Roghun hydropower dam, which Tashkent worried could destructively disrupt the flow of irrigation waters.

Since President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in Uzbekistan, in 2016, relations have improved dramatically and the resumption of trade and energy ties has been made a priority.