May 19, 2015
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan holds a meeting with the Vice-President of the European Commission
On May 18 in Brussels, the delegation of Uzbekistan headed by Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov met with the Vice-President of the European Commission, EU Commissioner for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič.
The parties discussed the progress of the implementation of the Memorandum of understanding between Uzbekistan and the EU on cooperation in the field of energy, signed in January 2011 during the visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov in Brussels.
It was noted that the document gave a new impetus to cooperation in this direction. Today a number of leading European companies involved in the implementation of investment projects in our country, as well as in tender procedures for the construction, reconstruction and modernization of objects of the power system.
The European side has been informed about adopted in Uzbekistan the state program on ensuring the structural transformation of the energy sector, modernization and diversification of production for 2015-2019, which provides the implementation of 870 major investment projects worth $38 billion.
The participants of the meeting exchanged views on some regional issues as well.
(Source: UzReport.uz )
The national railway company has the public intrigued again. This year it intends to carry out several interesting initiatives and launch a steel track, which is key to the country’s transport infrastructure. UT reporters have made an attempt to figure out the impact the railway will have on the development of rail transport.
Journalists have been always enthusiastic about meetings with the executives of the State Joint-Stock Railway Company (SJSRC) Uzbekistan Railways. Every meeting blows up the information space with news about interesting projects. Last week’s press conference in Tashkent was no exception.
In the near future the railway sector will focus on the electrification and creation of the relevant infrastructure that would ensure sustainable development of not just Uzbekistan Railways, but the entire transportation industry. As estimated by experts, in the next few years this aspect promises to be crucial for the Uzbek economy, as the needs of the real sector exceed the capacity opportunities of the network, and the growth dynamics for industrial production will swell.
It is worth keeping in mind that, being the world’s industrial forge, the AsiaPacific region actively exports its products to Europe, by rail amongst other ways. Today, the main cargo flow goes through Russia. However, Uzbekistan might lay claim to part of it in the coming years. Uzbekistan is currently building a railway to the Ferghana Valley, which will connect the main rail network of domestic routes leading to China. The importance of development of transport infrastructure in the region, which promises to become a key factor of economic growth, is proved by the impressive number of joint projects with the Asian Development Bank, as well as by the establishment of the Asian Bank of Infrastructural Investment, which is expected to embark on full-time operation late this year.
The ascending dynamics can be seen from the progress of Uzbekistan Railways in the first quarter of 2015. Railway stations delivered 16.6 million tons of cargo, which is 670,000 tons more YOY, with 4.2 percent growth. The company transported 4.6 million passengers, with an increase of 188,000. Export services totaled $78.3 million.
The launch of the 140-km electrified railway line Marakand-Karshi in September was the spotlight of the event. The working motion will be launched by the Independence Day of Uzbekistan, and the line itself is scheduled to be commissioned late 2015. It is worth noting that the section was designed for high-speed trains, in a word, Afrosiyob trains will run at their cruising speed from Tashkent to Karshi.
The total cost of the project exceeds $230 million. It is funded through the Asian Development Bank loan and equity of Uzbekistan Railways. Commissioning of the new railway line will open great opportunities for the further development of the economic potential of the southern regions of the country, integrated development of rich deposits of mineral resources, oil and gas, nonferrous metals, building materials and other valuable minerals, will create conditions for new jobs and employment of population, growth of its revenues and material prosperity.
The construction of the new railroad Angren-Pap is another important initiative for the national road network. Under the project, the electrification of 39.5 km railway line from the Angren station to the west portal of the tunnel was completed on the eve of Navruz holiday. Regarding the main section of the road – tunnel under the Kamchik pass – 11 km of drilling works were carried out by the end of March in the western and eastern, as well as in lateral shafts of the tunnel. 9.3 km of drilling works were completed in the main tunnel.
As of beginning of 2015, a total of 44 km of railroads have been rehabilitated, and 20 km of new roads were laid throughout the country. Railway lines are surely significant, though just a part of the process. An up-to-date locomotive fleet is another equally important component. This direction promises good news in the next two years. As commented by the company’s chief manager-engineer Sherzod Ismatullaev, it is planned to purchase two high-speed trains with increased capacity in the next two years.
“Most likely, we will buy them from the Spanish Talgo, as its first two trains, which are currently running on the TashkentSamarkand route, have shown their worth. Meanwhile, we intend to improve the trains we purchase by increasing their capacity with additional cars. This is why the contract with the Spanish company is still in the process of signing,” he said.
He added that the company has lunched the second phase of purchasing modern freight locomotives in China.
“At the second phase the company will purchase 11 electric locomotives with our time-tested partner CNTICCNRDLRC in China. The first batch of locomotives will arrive later this year. Throughout many years of operation of CNTIC-CNRDLRC vehicles in Uzbekistan, they have established a good reputation,” said Sherzod Ismatullaev.
Today, Uzbekistan operates Chinese OZEL electric locomotives that were specifically modified for conditions of Uzbekistan. They are produced by Chinese CNTIC-CNRDLRC. The locomotives are capable of working in mountain areas up to 1,800 meters above sea level. Their short-term power was increased from 6,000 to 7,200 kW, and now they have modern IGBT converter units (Toshiba), on-board video surveillance, an electronic brake control crane for the driver, and a touch board monitor.
Electric locomotives of this series have produced a tangible technical and economic effect – they have reduced manpower inputs by 25%, the cost of materials and repair resources – by 40%, electric power consumption decreased by 10% owing to regenerative braking, and the weight of transported goods has increased by 12%.
By the end of 2020, Uzbekistan Railways is planning to purchase a total of 32 modern locomotives.
The company has been attaching importance to the upgrade of its cars. In the first three months of 2015, Uzbekistan Railways branches extended the life of 437 cars, of which 138 closed cars, 21 platforms, 111 gondolas, 52 tanks and 115 other types of cars.
It is worth to note another point: the major part of components, construction materials and various tools that have been used in the construction and repair of roads, as well as locomotives and cars, are produced domestically. This year alone, the company is implementing 24 projects worth 34.5 billion soums under the localization program. In the first quarter the localized goods production totaled 7.9 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 19.05.2015 1$= 2527.58 soums).
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
The rally ‘Seven Wonders of Uzbekistan’ has kicked off. It welcomes everyone willing to contribute to the development of the country’s tourism industry.
The campaign is aimed at making a list of the country’s most important landmarks and other attractions. It is divided into three stages. At the first stage the users are welcome to propose which sites should be included in the list. At the second stage seven wonders of the regions of Uzbekistan will be selected through voting. Finally, seven most rated sites will be officially entitled as ‘The Seven Wonders of Uzbekistan’.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Dmitry Shokin of Uzbekistan won a gold medal of the 2015 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Chelyabinsk (Russia).
In the final tournament of weight category of over 87 kg Dmitry Shokin defeated Cote d’Ivoire’s Firmin Zokou in a tense “golden point” confrontation, winning gold in the male +87kg category.
Representative of Uzbekistan Jasur Baykuziyev lost in the final to Radik Isaev of Azerbaijan in the weight category of -87 kg. He won the silver medal.
Nikita Rafalovic won the silver medal in the -74 kg weight category. He lost to Masud Hadjivaresh from Iran and took the second place.
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