TASHKENT (TCA) — A project to establish Uzbekistan’s first plant for the production of conveyor belts, agricultural and automobile tires is currently in progress in the Angren special industrial zone (SIZ). The new plant is scheduled for commissioning in the third quarter of 2018, the Jahon information agency reports.
Today, Uzbekistan is in dire need of domestic production of rubber products, as the country annually produces more than 200,000 cars, millions of vehicles run on the country’s roads, not to mention industries using conveyor belts.
According to experts, the import of rubber products in Uzbekistan exceeds $160 million annually, tending to grow every year. The new plant aims to change the tendency. In the first phase, it will produce 3 million tires of two dozen sizes, 200,000 agricultural tires, and 100,000 linear meters of conveyor belt, to almost fully meet the needs of the domestic market.
The turn-key contract for the construction of the plant was signed with Chinese company Poly Technologies Inc in August 2014. The total cost of the project is $213.9 million. The Asaka Bank and Eximbank of China signed a $156.3 million loan agreement to finance the project in July 2015. The remainder of the funds will be allocated by the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan, O’zkimyosanoat, O’zavtosanoat, the Navoi Mining and Smelting Plant, and Almalyk Mining and Smelting Plant.
Concrete works are currently underway at the construction site. Equipment will be delivered to Angren in 2017.
In the future, the plant plans to expand its tire production capacity up to 5 million items, and launch a production of truck tires. With time, as part of production localization and import substitution efforts, Uzmetkombinat will produce steel cords for tires, and Uzbekneftegaz national oil and gas company will provide synthetic rubber, which will help to refuse from imports, reduce the production cost, and make local tires more competitive in export markets.