Korean companies are expected to have more chances to take part in large-scale infrastructure development projects in Uzbekistan in which US$55 billion (61 trillion won) will be invested over the next five years.
President Park Geun-hye and her Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, held a summit at Cheong Wa Dae on May 28 and agreed to push for large-scale cooperative projects in Uzbekistan.
The two heads also agreed to continuously develop mutual cooperation models to combine Uzbekistan’s natural resources and Korea’s technology and capital, and help Korean companies to win orders of new projects in the areas of gas, petrochemicals, power generation, and alternative energy. Uzbekistan plans to carry out nearly 900 projects to modernize industrial facilities and build infrastructure worth US$55 billion (61 trillion won), including the gas petrochemical sectors and the construction of roads and new airports, in the next five years.
With the two heads of state in attendance, GS Engineering & Construction (E&C) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Uzbekistan's national oil and gas company Uzbekneftegaz (UNG) for a US$4.5 billion (5 trillion won) Methanol to Olefin (MTO) project. The project is to construct a plant to produce olefins, a material often used in construction and daily supplies, from the methanol in natural gas.
President Park also asked the Uzbek president to help Korean companies participate in large-scale infrastructure projects, which includes the construction of thermal power plants in Turakurgan worth US$1 billion (1.11 trillion won) and Takhiatash worth US$700 million (773.85 billion won), and a solar power plant in Samarkand worth US$300 million (331.65 billion won).
Also, Cheong Wa Dae said that the two heads also agreed to ensure smooth operation of ongoing projects, which includes the construction of the Surgil gas field worth US$3.9 billion (4.31 trillion won) and gas liquefaction project worth US$3.1 billion (3.43 trillion won), the development of Kandym gas field worth US$2.7 billion (2.98 trillion won), the modernization project of Talimarjan thermal power plants worth US$820 million (906.51 billion won), the construction of highways worth US$170 million (187.94 billion won), and the modernization project of electric power meters worth US$100 million (110.55 billion won).
During the meeting, both heads of state highly praised that the international distribution center of the Navoi International Airport, which was newly built through partnerships with Korea and Uzbekistan, is successfully being operated, and has become a complex logistics hub airport to annually transport 100,000 tons of freight. Also, they decided to consider the measures for Korean companies to participate in airport modernization projects, which will be initiated by the Uzbek government in the future.