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Tajikistan imports 10 mln cubic metres of Uzbek gas in first 6 months after hiatus

Tajikistan imported almost 10 million cubic metres of natural gas from neighbouring Uzbekistan in the six months to October 1 after flows resumed in April following a six-year break, it said on Wednesday.

Gas supplies were halted in 2012 as relations between the two countries became strained over a Tajik plan to build a hydroelectric power station that Uzbekistan said would disrupt its water supplies and harm agricultural production.

In the early 2000s, Uzbekistan supplied Tajikistan with around 1 billion cubic metres of gas annually. In 2011 sales stood at 370 million cubic metres a year.

Ties between the Central Asian states have been on the mend since Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in 2016 following the death of long-standing leader Islam Karimov.

Tajikistan is reliant on imported energy as oil and gas resources are sparse in the mountainous country. During the hiatus it had been forced to rely on more heavily polluting coal.

The main beneficiaries of the resumption of gas imports are heavy power users including Tajikistan’s state-run aluminium smelter, which contributes more than half of the country’s export revenues, and a state-owned cement factory.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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