TASHKENT, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan is planning to sell most of its thermal power plants to private investors within several years to develop the sector, a Uzbek energy official said Thursday.
The government is considering to sell certain amounts of the shares of power plants to private investors and create joint ventures on the basis of a public-private partnership at the first stage, Sherzod Khodjayev, deputy minister of energy, told a round table on energy sector.
"The next stage will be the sale of the assets of the power plants to private investors. In the end, only several hydroelectric power stations and a nuclear power plant will remain in state ownership," he said.
According to Khodjayev, this gradual reforming model of the electric power industry guarantees covering the growing demand for electricity by the economic sector and the population without a sharp increase in tariffs, as well as a gradual reduction of the state's role and transition to the full-fledged market relations.
Uzbekistan's current annual demand for electricity is 69 billion kilowatt hours and by 2030 the figure will rise up to 117 billion, according to experts' estimation.