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Tashkent to import thousands of new boilers

Tashkent’s 1970s-era heating system has long been in need of a major upgrade, and this is exactly what it will get with the $69 million Heating Systems Modernisation Programme. Set for launch in January next year, the scheme will import thousands of brand new boilers from abroad and install them in apartment blocks around the city, providing guaranteed hot water and heating for Tashkent’s residents and making Uzbekistan an exciting market to think about for HVAC exporters.

Farhod Homijanov, head of the capital’s Toshissikkuvvati (Tashkent Heat Energy) agency, talks about how the project will use the latest HVAC equipment to make life more comfortable for Tashkent’s residents.


Why does Tashkent’s heating and hot water supply system need to be replaced?

Heating and hot water supply in the capital is mostly centralised – water is heated up and then fed through a closed piping network. This system was developed between 1950 and 1970, based on designs from the 1930s and 1940s.

It was designed to a standard principle, with a narrow range of technical variations permitted. Back then, boiler houses were mainly built to set designs, which often meant there was too much power used and therefore efficiency was low. On top of this, there are inefficient materials and a virtual absence of automation.

In the current designs, where heating systems in buildings are directly connected to the municipal network via mixing devices, there is more and more corrosion and limescaling from the water used in the network. This substantially reduces the performance of the pipes and therefore the supply of heating.

Systems like this, which are cheap to install but expensive to maintain, also have above-average water loss, short lifespans, and high operating costs in production, transportation and consumption of heating.

When residents keep getting water that is not hot enough, they are forced into DIY ‘engineering’ – siphoning hot water from the heating pipes, for example. And when one house in a block increases its water use like this, it’s inevitable that the neighbouring houses will be left with less, forcing the people who live there to get up to all kind of tricks of their own to heat up their water. This happens in a significant share of the apartment blocks in Tashkent, and the communal utilities are not replaced when they should be. The result – constant complaining from residents. This kind of extra-curricular home engineering takes up a quarter of all heating supplied per year. To put it simply, a quarter of the heating budget is just disappearing into the air.

In short, Tashkent’s current heating and hot water system is just completely and utterly obsolete in every single way, and it needs to be completely replaced.


What new equipment are you planning to install?

A heat exchanger will be installed in the basement of every apartment block. This will basically be a mini-boiler to heat water to the right temperature, made up of pumps, thermal regulators, heat energy meters, and other equipment. They will operate automatically, they are easy to install, and they can be ready to go in a short space of time. But their main advantage is that they really will provide heating and hot water to every single apartment. Localised boilers are already used successfully in Russia, Kazakhstan and Europe, and the equipment is produced in Russia, Germany and other countries.  

Who will we choose as a supplier? The results of the tenders will tell. But I can confidently say that this new equipment will be reliable, energy saving, and highly efficient.


When will the work start?

Work is scheduled to begin at the start of 2016. The Uztyazhneftegazchinproekt agency, which looks after procurement in the power and industrial sectors, has developed a draft assessment and plan for the project.

The first area of Tashkent to get the equipment will be Sergeli, where 1,010 people will benefit, 830 of them living in apartment blocks. As well as installing and equipping the new water heaters, there is a need to replace standpipes, repair damage done during previous renovations, get rid of cut-in sections that have been put in the pipes, and so on. Tashkent’s municipal water supply system will also be rebuilt, and additional cold water pumping stations will be installed.

As part of the project, two boiler units will be upgraded, 93 km of steel piping will be replaced, the existing power supply network will be rebuilt, and heating systems for residential buildings will be updated to ones that use modern materials and plastic piping. Heating will be provided via a communal standpipe located in the main apartment building, which means anyone not paying their heating bills can be disconnected. The whole project will cost $69 million – the World Bank is providing a loan for the work.



The original version of this interview in Russian can be found here.

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