Uzbekistan cuts natural-gas shipments to Tajikistan


January 8, 2010, Yelena Butakova



Uzbekistan yesterday cut natural-gas shipment to Tajikistan by 30 percent -- from 480,000 cubic meters per day to 336,000 cubic meters, Shavkat Shoimov, deputy head of Tojiktransgaz (Tajik state natural-gas distributor, told Asia-Plus today.


According to him, Tojiktransgaz is now not in debt to the Uzbek gas-transit company, Uztransgaz, but they demand prepayment.


“We do not have funds to make prepayments now,” said Shoimov, “Funds we have are enough for only two-or-three day gas shipments.  Therefore, we have been forced to reduce gas supplies to all categories of customers.  Gas supplies to Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO) and Tojikcement (Dushanbe cement plant) will be limited as well.”


The Dushanbe power and heat station now receives 96,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day and the issue of further operation of the Dushanbe power and heat station will be considered by the government, Shoimov added.


We will recall that Tojiktransgaz and Uztransgaz singed an agreement on Uzbek gas shipments to Tajikistan in 2010 in Tashkent last month and under document, Tajikistan will import 250 million cubic meters of natural gas from Uzbekistan next year.  The Tojiktransgaz head Saidmamat Sharofiddinov told Asia-Plus on December 29, 2009 that gas price will vary quarterly depending on the world market trends.  Moreover, Tajikistan will buy Uzbek gas under a take-or-pay principle.  Under this principle, importer country pays 95 percent of the state volume of natural gas irrespective of the fact whether it receives the stated volumes completely or not, according to Sharofiddinov.  “The conditions remain the same – we will make prepayments every ten days,” he noted.


With the take-or-pay contract, which is a rule structuring negotiations between companies and their suppliers, the company either takes the product from the supplier or pays the supplier a penalty. For any product the company takes, they agree to pay the supplier a certain price.

In 2009 year, Uzbekistan supplied natural gas to Tajikistan at the rate of 240 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.