March 2, 2017
Uzbekistan intends to increase the volumes of coal mining 3.1 times by shaft method in the next five years
It is expected that by the end of 2017, the country will produce up to 3.92 million tons of solid fuel, while in 2019 the indicator is projected to reach 4.78 million tons, and as much as 11.67 million tons in 2021. Last year, 3.87 million tons of coal was extracted in the country.
In general, it is intended to invest $690.5 million in the development and modernization of the coal industry in 2017-2021. The measures will be taken under six investment projects. Major sources of funding include the Fund for the Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan with $68.7 million, and soft loans of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the amount of $378.7 million, $155.6 million of loans of Uzbek commercial banks, and $87.5 million of private funds of enterprises.
The replacement of outdated equipment in the industry ranks among the largest projects. Its preliminary cost is estimated at $170.2 million. It is planned to purchase mining and miners' engineering and auxiliary equipment.
In addition, it is scheduled to renew the fleet of the railway engineering company Uzbekugol by means of $59.6 million. These funds will be spent for the purchase of locomotives, traction units, dump cars. All the projects are expected to increase the volume of overburden operations in the country to 22.3 million cubic meters this year, and up to 27.8 million cubic meters by 2021, which is 1.3 times more YOY.
In addition, Uzbekistan intends to invest over $165 million in the construction of the Angren mine. Experts are currently finalizing a feasibility study for the project. The mine will allow producing up to 4 million tons of coal annually. Uzbekugol has scheduled to come up with the general contractor for the project in the third or fourth quarter of the current year, and launch the project at the end of 2017.
According to geologist research, Uzbekistan possesses estimated coal reserves of about 5.7 billion tons, only 1.9 billion tons of which were studied (1.85 billion tons of lignite and 47 million tons of bituminous coal). Every year, Uzbekistan produces about 4 million tons of coal, 85% of which are supplied to the energy sector.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
FREE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMIC ZONE
Project Proposals for the Novel Free Economic Zone
Engineering and communication infrastructure, including gas pipelines, water pipes and mains, sewerage, roads and railways, communications, are currently laid in an accelerated mode to provide modern production enterprises on the territory of the zone with appropriate working conditions.
Many foreign investors already show interest in the projects. An Uzbek-Chinese joint venture Pitnak Panel has come forward with a proposal.
“In cooperation with the Chinese company Hinjiang Zaman Import and Export Trade Co LTD, we are drafting a project for $3.5 million for the construction of a facility to manufacture 200,000 polystyrene blocks and sandwich panels per year. The project envisages employment of about 40 young specialists – graduates of vocational colleges,” said the head of the enterprise Hushnud Jumaniyozov.
There are prospects of even greater interest of foreign investors ahead, because FEZ participants are exempt from customs duties, certain taxes and mandatory contributions to state funds. For example, investments from $300,000 to $3 million earn a privilege of three years of exemptions, from $3 million to $5 million – five years, and $5-10 million investments invite seven years of tax and duty exemptions.
If a party invests more than $10 million, he will get exemption on tax and duty payments for 10 years, and in the next five years, he will pay income tax and single tax payments with a 50 percent discount of the current rates.
In addition, the government released FEZ participants from customs duties on imported raw materials and components for the whole period of its operation.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)
Uzbekistan takes radical measures to streamline the system of road construction and repair
Efficiency as Top Priority
The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has decreed to abolish the Uzavtoyul State Joint-Stock Company for the Road Construction and Maintenance, and reorganize it into the State Committee for Roads of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which will be the legal successor of Uzavtoyul in its agreements and obligations, including international ones.
According to experts, there is a whole range of problems waiting to be addressed with the current state of rural roads, streets in cities, towns, villages, and settlements, most of which do not meet the requirements of traffic quality and safety.
Construction of new residential areas, urban expansion, and significant increase in the number of vehicles require taking effective measures for radical improvement of the state of regional roads. In this regard, the new committee will mainly pursue a unified technical policy in the road sector, develop and implement state programs, define development and improvement prospects.
It will also be engaged in the formation of international transit corridors, provision of integrated solutions for the financing, design, construction, repair and maintenance of roads, with an eye to the interests of users in the conditions of modern traffic flows.
The organization of scientific research, introduction of innovative technologies and modern standards in the field of design, construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of roads is another important function of the State Committee for Roads. The new authority will also be authorized with staff training for the industry, including the organization of training workshops and internships abroad. The Tashkent Institute for Road Design, Construction and Maintenance, and core vocational colleges will become part of the State Committee for Roads to ensure effective training of highly qualified specialists.
Quality Performance Key to Success
Establishment of the State Inspectorate for Road Construction Quality Control has been another landmark decision for the nation.
Major mission of the new structure is defined as monitoring the compliance with requirements of regulatory and technical documents in the field of road construction, production of road-building materials, goods and structures by corporate entities and individuals. From now and on, the inspectorate specialists will be mandatorily involved in operational acceptance of completed road facilities by corresponding commissions.
In addition, the Inspectorate will be assigned with standardization and certification of road-building materials, products and structures, proposition and participation in the improvement of the standard documentation for monitoring the compliance with urban planning legislation in terms of road construction.
Plans for the Future
It is intended to repair more than 5,400 kilometers of roads in Uzbekistan by the end of 2018. The parameters are defined in the Regional Roads Development Program for 2017-2018, as approved by the President of the country.
In just two years, it is planned to overhaul and repair 5,454 km of roads, urban, rural, as well as inter-farm streets. Works on 2,700 kilometers will be carried out in the current year, and another 2,754 km – next year.
Kashkadarya with 679 km, Surkhandarya with 535 km, and the Ferghana region with 520 km will be leading in the amount of works.
The rest of the country is hardly lagging in indicators. Thus, 295 km of roads are to be repaired in Karakalpakstan, 324 km in Andijan region, 439 km in Bukhara, 222 km in Jizzakh, 216 km in Navoi, 309 km in Namangan, 479 km in Samarkand, 267 km Syrdarya, 516 km in Tashkent, 321 km in Khorezm regions, and 332 km of roads and streets are planned for reconstruction in the capital city.
Specialized road building companies will be concurrently outfitted with modern types of machinery and equipment to ensure the better quality of construction and repairs. For these purposes it is projected to procure about 330 items of specialized equipment.
Creation of an electronic database of road data is another interesting point of the program. It will be built upon phased inventory and certification of existing inter-farm roads, urban and rural streets.
Today, the total length of the road network in the country exceeds 183,000 km. More than 42,600 km of them constitute public roads subdivided into those of international, national and local importance. They also include the Uzbek National Highway of 3,000 km.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Uzbek Cultural Object Granted High Status
Cultural traditions associated with the Uzbek national dish palov (aka osh, plov) have been included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
On 17 July 2016 in Istanbul, in accordance with the decision of the 40th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, a part of the Central Asian Tien Shan mountain system covering the territories of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan joined the list of UNESCO World Heritage List as a trans-boundary site Western Tien Shan. From Uzbekistan, it includes protected areas of Maydantal and Bashkyzylsay of the Ugam-Chatkal State National Park. The nomination "Chatkal Mountains" of the transnational object "Western Tien Shan" is the first natural site in Uzbekistan that has been granted such a high status.
The ceremony of awarding certificates was held under the auspices of the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Nature Protection and the National Commission of Uzbekistan for UNESCO. It was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Culture and Sports, Foreign Affairs, Public Education, and the Academy of Sciences.
Addressing the guests, the head of UNESCO Office in our country, Krista Pikkat, noted that Uzbekistan has unique cultural and natural monuments, which are undoubtedly part of the world heritage. She said she was very pleased on behalf of UNESCO Director General, Irina Bokova, to hand in the certificates entrusting the government of Uzbekistan for the inclusion of the Western Tien Shan on the World Heritage List and the traditions and culture of pilaf and Navruz in the list of intangible cultural heritage. To date, five objects of Uzbekistan are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage and six elements in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)
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