Uzbekistan’s Energy Minister Alisher Sultanov said in an interview with Kun.uz on 11 July that Uzbekistan plans to expand the capacity of its first nuclear plant, which is being built by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, and will build two more power units.
In 2018 an agreement was signed with Russia on cooperation in design and construction of a $13bn two-unit station near Tudacul reservoir, with the first VVER-1200 reactor in operation by 2028. The reference plant will be Russia’s Novovoronezh II NPP. Most of the investment is expected to come from Russia.
“The two 1200MWe units we are building, will be followed by two more units. The site was chosen to be suitable for four units,” he said, adding that construction of two additional blocks would be faster and cheaper than the first two, because the infrastructure would already be established.
Sultanov said that the authorities had been discussing nuclear construction for eighteen months before making a public announcement.
Uzbekistan was 15-20 years late with the construction of a nuclear power plant he noted. “During this time we lost a lot of staff, almost lost the whole science of nuclear physics. We were on the verge of shutting down our research reactor and only saved it through the efforts of our president,” he said.
Indigenous uranium resources makes nuclear power an obvious choice for Uzbekistan, Sultanov noted. Uzbekistan’s electricity needs are expected to roughly double by 2030, from to 69TWh to 117TWh. Without the introduction of new sources of generation, it will face a deficit of about 48TWh.
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