Uzbekistan and Russia are on the verge of finalizing a contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant, according to Alexei Likhachev, the head of Rosatom. Despite the slowdown in work processes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project has continued to progress and is now nearing its conclusion.
In 2019, the two nations reached a consensus on the main decisions regarding the project. The pandemic may have halted many processes, but the Uzbek project was not one of them. The contract for the construction of the nuclear power plant is now in its final stages of completion.
Likhachev added that the energy project continues to evolve, with additional proposals for low-capacity power units and personnel training being presented to the Uzbek side.
The work on the contract continues quite intensively, and I think that, in general, we are not far from signing the contract.
The nuclear power plant project began in 2018 when Uzbekistan and Russia initiated negotiations. As per the agreement, Rosatom will construct two VVER-1200 units, each with a capacity of 1.2 GW. The proposed site for the plant is on the shore of Lake Tuzkan in the Jizzakh region.
The construction is expected to span approximately six years. Uzbekistan anticipates that the nuclear power plant will address the country’s electricity shortage and conserve gas. Given that Uzbekistan ranks among the top five uranium producers globally, the project is not expected to encounter any fuel-related issues.
Former Minister of Energy Alisher Sultanov emphasized the environmental cleanliness of the nuclear power plant and the safety of VVER-1200 reactors in a 2020 interview. Other ecology and energy experts have also highlighted the significance and advantages of nuclear power plants for Uzbekistan.
The participation of Rosatom in the construction of new nuclear power facilities was discussed at the ministerial level in April, with the head of the Ministry of Energy Zhurabek Mirzamakhmudov receiving Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak.