Price of Uzbek gas for Tajik consumers will almost double
Sources in Tajikgaz say that Uzbekistan intends to up the price of the natural gas exported to Tajikistan in January 2007.
Judging by the official letter from Uztransgaz, the gas will cost Tajik consumers $100 per 1,000 cubic meters as of January 1. These days, Tajikistan is buying gas at $55.
Tajikgaz specialists say that "it will result in a reduction of gas import from Uzbekistan because the new tariffs will make Uzbek gas unprofitable."
This January, Tajikgaz and Uztransgaz signed a contract for 750 million tons of gas at $55. In 2005, gas export from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan amounted to 650 million cubic meters at $42. Tajikistan needs 2 billion cubic meters of gas every year. A week ago, Tajikgaz loaned money from a bank to pay a part of its debts to the Uzbeks. It owes Uzbekistan $2.5 million now.
These days, 30,000 cubic meters of gas are imported from Uzbekistan every hour.
Tajiktsement management has contracted Tajik and Chinese specialists in the hope to make a conversion from natural gas to coal in concrete production.