Monochrome by Centil Law: United.

As stakes grow in the region, foreign actors cooperate and set aside their differences to unite for the support of economic stability and human security.

Wattum, a U.S.-based mining company, committed to build a 16 MW farm in Kazakhstan to be run by the Israeli Energix and invest $2m in the enterprise. Wattum and Energix also plan to unite for the construction of a 50 MW farm for $8m. The news comes shortly after the Chinese Bit Mining announced its plans for a 100 MW crypto-mining data centre in the country, following China’s crackdown on domestic mining.

Uzbekistan plans to switch to a competitive wholesale electricity market by 2025. Starting from 1 August, businesses will be able apply for the right to purchase electricity and natural gas on an import basis. Joining efforts for the supply of electricity in this way, it is expected that such interaction will enable a two-fold increase in the generation of electricity to 120.1bn kWh by 2030, to cater to the growing demand. 

Kazakhstan hosted the 7th Business Platform for EU-Kazakhstan discussions on low carbon economy, with a focus on cooperation in renewable energy generation. At the meeting, the Kazakh PM Mamin mentioned the new Environmental Code abiding to the OECD principles and standards entering into force on 1 July and the state’s aim to increase the share of green energy in its energy sector to 15% by 2030. 

Following Tatarstan’s state delegation visit, Uzbekistan intends to endorse Tatar KER-Holding for the implementation of the modernisation project of municipal heat supply systems in the country and boiler houses, which were initially put in place in the 1970s and are now considered obsolete. The first stage of the project, estimated at $42m, consists of modernising the Vodnik boiler house in Tashkent.

Eni and General Electric expect to complete construction of the new wind farm in Kazakhstan’s Aktobe region by the end of the year. This joint project with a capacity of 48 MW and a life cycle of 25 years aims to increase the country’s wind power capacity by 25%, providing the Aktobe region with 198 GWh of electricity per year and preventing up to 172,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

The US Eximbank issued a Letter of Intent to Uzbekistan’s state oil and gas company Uzbekneftegaz to invest $184m in the 2019-2025 Bukhara Oil Refinery modernisation project, initially estimated at $553m. The project expects to yield 2,5m tonnes of oil and gas condensate, 1,2m tonnes of Euro-5 gasoline, 200 tonnes of jet fuel, 750,000 tonnes of diesel and 30,000 tonnes of fuel oil annually. 

The World Bank mobilised $60m for the development of the taxation system in Uzbekistan to increase tax revenues and tame down the informal economy. The taxation development project provides for the automation of main business processes of tax administration and the development of human and institutional capacity within the State Tax Commission. This loan has a maturity period of 30 years.

The Asian Development Bank approved a $25m grant to help Tajikistan procure COVID-19 vaccines and implement the Deployment and Vaccination Plan, which aims to vaccinate 62.5% of the population of over 18 years old. The funds are expected to finance the delivery of around 3 million doses of vaccine with safety boxes and syringes for over 1.3m million people from priority groups.

At the NATO meeting in Brussels, the US agreed to give Turkey the lead role in securing Kabul airport during US troops withdrawal offering political, financial and logistical support. Shortly after, rivaling Presidents Putin and Biden also agreed to unite to ensure security in Afghanistan, addressing the importance of the post-withdrawal realpolitik in the region for Russia, which has a military base along the border in Tajikistan. 

Iran holds its presidential elections today, a run between the conservative hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, who is also the country’s current Chief Justice and subject to current US sanctions, and the moderate technocrat Abdolnaser Hemmati, who has been the Head of the Central Bank since 2018. Both candidates intend to uphold the nuclear deal, yet the final decision on the matter, just like the outlining of the election procedures resides with the Supreme Leader.

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