It is expected that by the end of 2017, the country will produce up to 3.92 million tons of solid fuel, while in 2019 the indicator is projected to reach 4.78 million tons, and as much as 11.67 million tons in 2021. Last year, 3.87 million tons of coal was extracted in the country.
In general, it is intended to invest $690.5 million in the development and modernization of the coal industry in 2017-2021. The measures will be taken under six investment projects. Major sources of funding include the Fund for the Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan with $68.7 million, and soft loans of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the amount of $378.7 million, $155.6 million of loans of Uzbek commercial banks, and $87.5 million of private funds of enterprises.
The replacement of outdated equipment in the industry ranks among the largest projects. Its preliminary cost is estimated at $170.2 million. It is planned to purchase mining and miners’ engineering and auxiliary equipment.
In addition, it is scheduled to renew the fleet of the railway engineering company Uzbekugol by means of $59.6 million. These funds will be spent for the purchase of locomotives, traction units, dump cars. All the projects are expected to increase the volume of overburden operations in the country to 22.3 million cubic meters this year, and up to 27.8 million cubic meters by 2021, which is 1.3 times more YOY.
In addition, Uzbekistan intends to invest over $165 million in the construction of the Angren mine. Experts are currently finalizing a feasibility study for the project. The mine will allow producing up to 4 million tons of coal annually. Uzbekugol has scheduled to come up with the general contractor for the project in the third or fourth quarter of the current year, and launch the project at the end of 2017.
According to geologist research, Uzbekistan possesses estimated coal reserves of about 5.7 billion tons, only 1.9 billion tons of which were studied (1.85 billion tons of lignite and 47 million tons of bituminous coal). Every year, Uzbekistan produces about 4 million tons of coal, 85% of which are supplied to the energy sector.