Monday, April 7, 2014

Uzbekistan Airway starts flights from Tashkent to / from Singapore

Uzbekistan Airway (Uzbekistan Havo Yollari) carried out its first flight Tashkent-Singapore on the 2nd April 2014 with its Boeing-767 service allowing Uzbekistan to further attract tourists from Singapore and ASEAN and Southwest Pacific countries such as Australia and New Zealand who can generally more easily connect in and out via Singapore than KL or Bangkok.

The new Tashkent-Singapore service will open up business and tourism opportunities into the respective regions of both cities. From its Tashkent hub, Uzbekistan Airways provides travellers direct and quick access to Central Asia and the Russian Siberian Federal District through its extensive regional flight network. Likewise, Singapore provides travellers from Central Asia a strategic gateway to Southeast Asia and Southwest Pacific, with over 50 city links and close to 2,000 weekly services.

Uzbekistan is among Central Asia’s most rapidly developing economies. Since 2006, the country’s GDP growth has performed better than those of developing European and Central Asian markets. With its robust economic growth, the International Air Transport Association has forecast Uzbekistan to be the fastest growing market for international passenger traffic by 2017.

All flights on the route will be operated using a 247-seat, two-class Boeing 767-300 aircraft, with a stop in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesdays and direct flights on Thursdays. Uzbekistan Airways connects to 21 cities in Europe, U.S., Middle East, Asia, 22 cities of the CIS countries, as well as 11 domestic destinations.


UZBEKISTAN April 4th 2014 - La Uzbekistan Airways NAC attuerà regolari voli Tashkent - Singapore. Fonte Trend che cita il servizio stampa della società. I voli saranno operati con Boeing - 767 aeromobili di mercoledì (via Kuala Lumpur) e giovedì.

La Compagnia aerea nazionale (NAC) "Uzbekistan Airways " effettua voli verso 21 città in Europa, America, Medio Oriente, Asia e in 22 città di paesi della CSI e 11 destinazioni interne .

Nel 2013, NAC " Uzbekistan Airways " ha compiuto circa 24.600 voli e trasportato 2.677.000 passeggeri (con un incremento rispetto al 2012 del 1,6 per cento).

Uzbekistan Airways International moderna flotta di aeromobili è costituito - Boeing 767-300 (4), 757-200 (5),767-300 - ER(4) , 13 Airbus (3 A-310 e 10 A-320-200), RJ - 85 (3) e aerei cargo Airbus A300- 600F (2).

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) Production in Chimbay

Since 2006, an Uzbek-Chinese joint venture LaneExtrakt, which specializes in processing and selling of licorice extract has been in operation in Chimbay district in Karakalpakstan. It has a design processing capacity of 8,000 tonnes of licorice root a year used to produce Glycyrrhiza Glabra, which is widely used in the global pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries. Milled root waste remaining after the extract is aquired can also be used in the production of particle board and chipboard.

The venture currently process about 2,500 tonnes of raw material and export products to China and Japan.

According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan, more than thirty companies and enterprises with different types of ownership are engaged in procurement and processing of licorice across Uzbekistan. 

Licorice is a plant of ancient origin, steeped in history, and has been medicinally used for more than 4000 years. It is a component of many traditional medical systems.

Hippocrates in 400 BC mentioned it as a remedy for ulcers. Glycyrrhiza is Greek-derived, meaning "sweet root" and Glycyrrhiza glabra means sweet root with hairless seed pods. The dried, peeled or unpeeled underground stems and roots constitute the Licorice.
Licorice is a perennial plant, growing about 1.5 meter high. The wrinkled and woody rootstock is brown outside and yellow inside; sweet-tasting. Leaves are unequally branched, in 4-7 pairs.
Flowers are pale blue, violet, yellowish-white or purplish in color, arising from the axils of the leaves in racemes or spikes, followed by pods. Pods are smooth and small, resembling a partly-grown peapod, compressed with many seeds.

Licorice extracts and its principal component, glycyrrhizin are extensivly use in the manufacture of food, tobacco products, and snuff, and in traditional and herbal medicine.

Licorice extract (block, powder, or liquid) may be applied to cigarette tobacco at levels of about 1-4% to enhance and harmonize the flavor characteristics of smoke, improve moisture-holding characteristics of tobacco, and act as a surface-active agent for ingredient application.

Licorice flavor is found in a wide variety of licorice candies. Licorice is also found in some soft drinks (eg, root beer) and is in some herbal teas where it provides a sweet aftertaste. Sweet root is said to contain compounds that are roughly 50 times sweeter than sugar.

Licorice is also known throughout the world for its wide variety of medicinal properties. The reason for this can be linked to a certain compound found within the roots of the plant known as Glycyrrhizic Acid. This acid, seen to the right, is said to be capable of treating ulcers and asthma and other aliments however is also known for causing serious health problems if taken in large enough doses. This acid is found in higher concentrations in the fibrous root system which grows closer to the surface rather than the tap root which grows deeper.

Its medicinal usage is extensive. It is used as a demulcent, emollient, expectorant, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, alterative, diuretic and laxative. It is considered to have antibacterial, anti-hepatotoxic, estrogenic, antifungal, antihemorrhoidal, antihyperglycemic, antimalarial, antioxidant, antiulcer properties. All parts the roots, leaves, and rhizomes are used. In Karakalpakstan the infusion of the rootstock used for cough, colds, bronchitis, asthma, hoarseness and dysuria. Powdered roots used as expectorant. Strong decoction also acts as a laxative.

Other afflictions treated: 
-Peptic Ulcers: There are mixed results that show licorice taken with antacids can help to treat ulcers.
-Canker sores: Gargling dissolved licorice may help with pain relief
-Eczema: It has been found using a licorice gel with 2% concentration of Glycyrrhizic acid can help
relieve itching, swelling, and redness.
-Indigestion: Studies have shown that using an herbal formula known as Iberogast, which also contains the anti-indigestion ingredients peppermint and chamomile, can reduce indigestion.
-Upper Respiratory Infections: Licorice has been found to help with symptoms associated with asthma.

While licorice is capable of treating a multitude of symptoms, precautions must be made when considering to take licorice as an alternative medicine. Most licorice related supplements and medicines contain around 2% Glycyrrhizic acid. It has been found that reaching a daily intake of 100mg-400mg of Glycyrrhizic acid can cause many serious health problems. When consumed in large quantities, it can cause your body’s potassium levels to fall to the point that some people experience headaches, arrhythmia, a rise in blood pressure, swelling (odema) and even congestive heart failure as well. Heavy consumption has been associated with increased risk of preterm birth.

Glycyrrhizinates can inhibit 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, the enzyme responsible for inactivating cortisol. High level exposure can produce hypermineralocorticoid-like effects in both animals and humans. At high doses this may produce potentially severe side effects – hypertension, hypokalemia, and fluid retention. Most adverse effects attributed to glycyrrhiza (glycyrrhizic acid). Processing can remove the glycyrrhiza to produce DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) without the metabolic side effects of the unprocessed licorice. 

Read more:

(Ed: It is noted that there are some concerns that the groundwater surrounding the chimbay plant maybe being contaminated by this industry in the same way as other licorice root processing plants in China and elsewhere are doing and causing health problems to those using this water).

Monday, March 31, 2014

Takhiatash Thermal Power Station Modernisation

Uzbekistan plans to raise a loan of Asian Development Bank (ADB) for about $200 million for a project to modernise the Takhiatash thermal power plant (TPP). The provisional cost of the project is esimated to be $330 million.
The government of Uzbekistan and the ADB have reached a preliminary agreement on the financial assistance for the project. In August 2013 ADB provided Uzbekenergo with a grant of $1.2 million for the feasibility study of the project in mid-2013.

Modernization of Takhiatash TPP located in the north-western Uzbekistan, is largely due to the expansion of the oil and gas companies' activities in the development of fields in the Ustyurt plateau.

As part of the modernisation it is planned to install by 2016, two new gas turbines, 140 MW each and construct a cooling tower for two units, 210 MW each. The project will allow to increase plant capacity by 30 percent in addition it will reduce the current discharge of waste water.

Funding is to be provided by the ADB loan funds, the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan and Uzbekenergo's own funds.

Installed capacity of five energy units of Takhiatash thermal power plant currently is 730 MW. The first unit was commissioned in 1956, the fifth - in 1967. The power plant provides electricity to the north-west of the country the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan and the Khorezm region.

Source: Edited - TRENDNewsAgency Article September 2013

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line

The Tashkent to Samarkand high-speed rail line is a 344 kilometre, high speed rail connection between the two largest cities in Uzbekistan Tashkent. The Talgo 250 train service operates nine times a week under the brand Afrosiyob. See Short Video
Constructed from 2011-12 and costing $70 million the line includes both new and rebuilt 1520mm standard C.I.S track, as well as adding modern signalling systems to the route. In addition to building track capable of supporting the high-speed service, other upgraded track was built from Samarkand to the cities of Bukhara and Urgench-Khiva as part of the project. Trains  to Nukus and beyond using the already modernised Uchkuduk-Urgench/Nukus line. 

The 344 kilometres high-speed line is capable of speeds up to 250 km/h, with a total travel time between Tashkent and Samarkand of about two hours.
The Talgo 250 trainset consists of two power cars, eight passenger cars with a capacity of 257 people and a dining car. Daily commercial service of the Afrosiyob leaves Tashkent at 8:00 am arriving Samarkand at 10.10am. Weekends additional service leaving at 7:00am arriving at 9:10am (see below for timetable) .
Ticket price per pax, USD

For more information on trains (to/from and within Uzbekistan) go to Advantour (time table above)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tebinbulak titanium-magnetite mine to be developed Amu darya Rayon

A 3.1 billion USD project for the development of titanium-magnetite ores by Uzbekistans Uzmetkombinat at the Tebinbulak deposit on the Sultan Uiz Dag Ridge in Southern Karakalpakstan (Amu Darya Rayon) is to be initiated before the end of 2014.

Russia's JSC Uralmekhanobr based in Ekaterinburg last year issued a positive opinion of the technical feasibility of the project. The State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources has indicated that the mining complex will have a production capacity of some 14.7 million tons of iron ore, as well as further development of up to 1.5 million tons of base iron products annually. Total est. reserves 5 billion tonnes. The field in addition contains valuable titanium and vanadium ore deposits. (Ore has 16.5% Iron content,Titanlium doxide 2% and Vanadium Pentoxide 0.15% content)

The project being financed by foreign loans and funds from Uzbek side.

The Tebinbulak field was discovered in 1937 is similar in type to the Kachkanar field in the South Urals (see
Kachkanar Mine Urals

(ED: Uzbekistan's mining and metal processing industry is extremely important to the economy. It is one of the top ten countries in terms of proven reserves of gold, uranium, copper, tungsten, potassium salts, phosphorate and kaolin in the world)


Friday, February 28, 2014

Heliskiing in Uzbekistan

The Ugam, Pskem and Chatkal ranges of the Western Tien  Shan with their comparatively mild climate and great powder offer ideal conditions for heli-skiing and heli-boarding. 

Western Tien Shan with pristine expanses of virgin snow from the high mountain peaks and passes and its continental climate the is one of the best skiing areas in Asia.

The area is known for its stable sunny weather conditions. Usually in five out of seven days, the sun is out making for comfortable skiing. In winter, the temperatures are about -12 ° C. Ski conditions are ideal its deep powder adheres well on the steep slopes from October up untill early May each year.

The Chimgan-Charvak-Beldersay” resort area has become a popular location for Heli- Ski being located conveniently less than 100km from Tashkent. The beautiful mountain slopes of Chimghan tract, at altitudes from 2500 to 4200 m above sea level have runs with an amplitude drop downhill of up to 2 km finishing in the valley.
Chatkal range
PointRegion / referenceAltitude difference start/finish points of descent, m.Δh, mLength, km.
1Big Chimgan3300 - 170016006
1aCrest of Chimgan2200 - 17005003
2Akkul2890 - 20009006
3Kyzylnura3300 - 24009006
4Aktahta natural boundary3320 - 220011005
5Turasai Akbulak3200 - 23009006
6Davan pass3150 - 23008507
7Muz Ter pass3450 - 230011506
8Peak 35043500 - 230012006
9High pass3800 - 250013004
10Peak 35823500 - 250010005
11Peak 35823500 - 250010005
Pskem range
PointRegion / referenceAltitude difference start/finish points of descent, m.Δh, mLength, km.
1Padyr pass3200 - 170015008
2Padyr pass3300 - 170016007
3Kaptarkumysh3350 - 160017008
4Pskemsai3000 - 200010006
5Pskemsai3600 - 200016006
6Ikhanch3000 - 23007005
7Oygaing3400 - 230011006
8Oygaing3400 - 230011006
9Barkraksai4000 - 300010008
10Barkraksai3800 - 30008006
11Barkraksai3900 - 30009006
12Akkapchagai3900 - 290010005

 Helicopters used on the Range
Photos: Uzbekistan Airways Mi-8 MTV Helicopter. (ED: The Mi-8 with some 50,000 helicopters so far built is by far the largest helicopter make in production world wide).

The Mi-8MTV powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM high altitude turboshaft engines has  a hovering ceiling of 6,000 m and a load capacity of 4,000 kg external load.

It can handle a range of ambient air temperatures and so is ideal for montain use. It can also carry cargoes of up to four tons and has a winch with a capacity of 150 kg. The helicopter's cargo cabin is equipped with a heating and ventilation system and has collapsible seats for up to 24 passengers. It can also be converted for air ambulance duties or as a rescue machine with an electric hoist with a boom, over the movable door of the fuselage. Its maximum speed with normal take-off weight is 250 km/hr. Cruise speed with normal take-off weight is 230 km/hr with a flight range with fuel in main tanks of 650 km. Requires a crew of 2-3 (two pilots, one mechanic).