Monday, April 16, 2012 -
Uzbekistan has resumed pumping natural gas to neighbor Tajikistan after a 15-day hiatus that threatened to cripple the Tajik economy, Uzbek authorities said on Monday.
Uzbek state-owned energy corporation Uzbekneftegaz said in a web site statement it signed a supply contract on April 11 with its counterpart company in Tajikistan.
Uzbekneftegaz turned off the pumps on April 1 citing an expired three-month gas supply contract.
Tajik Cement immediately suspended work while Tajikistan Aluminum Company (TALCO) said it would be forced to shelve its expansion plans if the gas did not come online soon.
Tajikistan wholly relies on Uzbek gas for its needs.
TajikTransGaz said Monday the two companies agreed delivery of 155 million cubic meters of Uzbek gas to the end of this year.
Tajikistan will initially pay $264 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, but market conditions for the contract time period may influence the pricing, the Reuters news agency cited a TajikTransGaz representative as saying.
The Dushanbe government had purchased 45 million cubic meters of Uzbek gas in the first quarter of this year.
The volume comes to around 10 percent of total daily production in Uzbekistan.
Authorities in Tajikistan accused Uzbekistan of imposing an economic blockade, citing their differences over Tajikistan’s hydropower plant program.
But the Tashkent government countered that it needed the gas for the growing Chinese market and also said the new contract had not been signed in time to renew supplies earlier.