DUSHANBE, July 30, 2014, Asia-Plus -- As of July 1, 2014, debts of Barqi Tojik, the state-owned national utility company, amounted to 1.5 billion somoni (equivalent to some 300 million U.S. dollars).

Barqi Tojik now owes some 420 million somoni (84 million U.S. dollars) to Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) Sangtudinskaya GES-1, which operates the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant (HPP), and some 154 million somoni (30 million U.S. dollars) to the Sangtuda-2 HPP.

Besides, Barqi Tojik’s tax debts have reached 180 million somoni and its salary debts have reached 30 million somoni.

Meanwhile, Barqi Tojik’s uncollected receivables have reportedly reached 1.083 billion somoni.  The most incorrigible nonpayers are the land reclamation facilities, Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO) and federally funded institutions.  TALCO alone now owes some 250 million somoni to Barqi Tojik.

Meanwhile, the rate of the collection of funds from the public and enterprises has reportedly increased.  Over the first six months of this year, Barqi Tojik has collected some 542 million somoni for electricity consumption, which is 55 million somoni more than in the same period last year.

Tajik government has adopted resolution on state support and measures to ensure financial and economic recovery of Barqi Tojik.  Under this resolution, the government writes off Barqi Tojik’s debts for a total amount of 312.8 million somoni.

The implementation of the plan of restructuring Tajik national power monopoly is going on.

According to Corporate Solutions’ website, restructuring of Barqi Tojik that was endorsed by the Government of Tajikistan in 2011 costs 7,231,400 Euros.

Tajik government plans to unbundle Barqi Tojik and create an enabling environment for private sector investment in the power sector, a contract for which was reportedly awarded to Corporate Solutions in association with Kema International (the Netherlands), Manitoba Hydro International (Canada), Janson Baugniet C.V.B.A (Belgium) and Moore Stephens CIS Ltd (the United Kingdom).

In 2009, Corporate Solutions concluded a technical assistance project which was instrumental in bringing the restructuring of Barqi Tojik high up in the Government''s agenda.  As part of that project a Restructuring Plan was prepared and Presidential Decree was issued on August 30, 2011 mandating the restructuring of Barqi Tojik.

The program is expected to pass through three phases: commercialization to 2013, competition to 2015, and privatization ending in 2018.

An independent regulatory body will also be set up to enable the private sector to participate in subsequent phases of the restructuring.

Tajikistan regularly undergoes long periods of electricity blackouts, with electricity usage rationed throughout much of the winter.