Study shows TALCO's potential to save energy

January 28, 2013


  • Audit suggests ways that Tajikistan’s state owned aluminum company, TALCO, can cut energy consumption
  • Will help alleviate winter electricity shortages in the country
  • Action plan suggested by the audit could be implemented within four years to save about 1,155 GWh of annual electricity savings

A number of financially attractive investments can be implemented to reduce the energy consumption of Tajikistan’s state owned aluminum company (TALCO) over four years, according to an energy audit supported by the World Bank on the request of the Tajikistan government, which has made it a priority to address electricity shortages during winter months.

The audit of TALCO, conducted by an international consortium led by Norway’s Norsk Energi, also assessed energy saving opportunities and the development of an energy efficiency plan for the company.

About 70 percent of the population suffers from extensive electricity shortages during the winter in Tajikistan. These shortages are estimated at about 2,700 giga watt hours (GWh) -- about a quarter of winter electricity demand -- and cause significant social and economic burdens.

As the country’s single largest electricity consumer, TALCO accounts for about 40 percent of the total net electricity consumption and could play a crucial role in reducing winter electricity shortages. The World Bank remains committed to help Tajikistan solve its winter energy crisis in the fastest and most sustainable way possible.  

TALCO consumed between 5,480 and 6,460 GWh of electricity per year in the period from 2009-2011, with aluminum production output varying between 281,000 and 361,000 tons of aluminum.

Cutting Energy Consumption By 22 Percent

The recommended Energy Efficiency Action Plan for TALCO includes 33 measures to reduce energy consumption at the electrolysis process, anode production and plant services.

A seven-year payback period on investment was used as a cut-off for measures included in the Action Plan, but 26 of the recommended measures have a payback period of less than three years.

Implementing the plan would allow TALCO to save up to 1,155 GWh of electricity and 197 GWh of natural gas per year. This would cut electricity and natural gas consumption by about 20 percent and 37 percent compared to average consumption in 2009-2011. The power load on the national grid would decrease by 132 megawatts (MW).

Once TALCO becomes more energy efficient, household electricity consumption during winter months could be increased by 25 percent of average consumption in 2009-2011, or 578 GWh, during winter.

In addition to helping reduce winter electricity shortages, TALCO can reduce its annual energy costs by US$49 million.

Energy Efficiency Action Plan could be implemented within four years

TALCO could start implementing 11 measures without further preparatory work. These measures are expected to generate about 129 GWh of electricity savings per year, with total investment costs estimated at US$1.6 million.

Implementation of the other, more technically complex measures is expected to take up to four years and require additional preparatory work. Additional investment costs of these measures are estimated at US$ 85 million.

The audit highlights other energy management options at TALCO, such as shifting maintenance routine of aluminum cells to winter months. About 25 percent of aluminum cells each year need major repair and maintenance. This is currently done throughout the year, but scheduling the major repair of cells during winter months would decrease electricity consumption by an additional 132 GWh from October to March.

The Government of Tajikistan has agreed to start implementation of energy efficiency measures at TALCO based on the proposed Action Plan.