Operations at Dushanbe cement plant in Tajikistan were suspended yesterday following the stoppage of gas supplies, said Ms Fazilat Safarova, the deputy director of state unity enterprise Tojiksement (Dushanbe cement plant).
"We have been forced to ask more than 1000 workers to take unpaid vacations," said Safarova.
The Tojiksement’s administration has applied to the government to take into account the poor state of Tojiksement due to the global financial and economic crisis and help resume gas supplies to the Dushanbe cement plant as soon as possible.
Ms Safarova said Tojiksement owed more than US$2m to open joint-stock company (OJSC) Tojiktransgaz (Tajik state natural-gas distributor).
"Tojiksement is unable to settle the debt at this time, however the issue is expected to be solved in the near future at time," Safarova said, noting that the plant was currently producing cement for a number of facilities of the nationwide significance such as the Roghun as well as Sangtuda-1 and Sangtuda-2 power plants.
She said that many local enterprises, including the Roghun power plant, owed considerable funds to Tojiksement.
Uzbekistan halved natural-gas shipments to Tajikistan on June 15 due to the roughly US$17m in arrears that Tojiktransgaz now owes to Uzbekistan. Tojiktransgaz officials say that before June 15, Tajikistan received 12,000m3 of natural gas from Uzbekistan per day, now it receives only 6000m3 of Uzbek gas per day and this volume is enough to meet only Tajik Aluminum Company’s (Talco) requirements in gas.