Mitsubishi Turbine Will Power New Gas-Fired Plant in Uzbekistan

A third gas-fired unit planned at a power plant in Uzbekistan will use equipment from Mitsubishi Power, the company announced on Feb. 13.

Mitsubishi said the 600-MW Navoi 3 facility is expected to come online in 2026. The plant will supply both electricity and industrial steam and district heating for the Navoi Free Economic Zone around Navoi, located about 220 miles southwest of the capital of Tashkent. The Navoi Power Plant is operated by JSC Thermal Power Plants, the state-owned electric power cooperation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Mitsubishi on Tuesday said Navoi 3 will feature an M701JAC (J-series air-cooled) gas turbine. The combined cycle plant will generate 600 MW of electricity, along with 200 Gcal/h (gigacalorie per hour, about 233 MW) of heat. The company said this is Mitsubishi Power’s third order for gas turbine combined cycle equipment at Navoi, a complex that includes the adjacent Navoi 1 and Navoi 2 units that came online with Mitsubishi turbines in 2013 and 2019, respectively.

Mitsubishi Power said it will handle “the design, procurement, manufacture, and commissioning of the core components of the power generation facilities and major auxiliary equipment at Navoi, such as air-cooled condensers and gas compressors. The generator will be manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corp.”<

Reliant on Natural Gas

Uzbekistan relies on natural gas for more than 70% of its power generation, with hydropower and coal-fired generation accounting for the rest. Government officials last year announced more details of a $1.2-billion project to build a 1.6-GW gas-fired combined cycle plant in Shirin City in Syrdarya, with Mitsubishi Power providing two M701JAC turbines for that Syrdarya II plant, which also is expected online in 2026. Mitsubishi said its equipment powers more than 90% of Uzbekistan’s large-scale gas-fired generation.

The existing gas-fired generation at Syrdarya is a 10-unit power plant with more than 3 GW of capacity. The units were commissioned between 1972 and 1981.

Much of Uzbekistan’s new gas-fired generation is being financed by international groups, including the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Other groups involved in supporting projects in the country include Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Societe Generale (a French multinational financial services company), and the International Finance Corp. (IFC).

JBIC in June 2020 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with IFC to enhance cooperation between the two organizations. The Syrdarya project is the second co-financing with IFC since the signing of the MOU.

Uzbekistan’s power generation strategy is part of what officials have called the electricity sector’s roadmap toward 2050, what it calls “A Carbon-Neutral Electricity Sector in Uzbekistan.” The government has said it supports the continued development of more efficient, low-carbon power-generation infrastructure, and has prioritized the modernization or replacement of existing gas-fired power plants. Many of the country’s existing gas-fired units were built when Uzbekistan was still part of the Soviet Union. Japan, which established diplomatic relations with Uzbekistan in 1992, is a major backer of the country’s energy projects.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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