Shusha prepares for Great Return
Review by Caliber.Az
ANALYTICS 27 May 2023 - 12:38
Over the past three years, tremendous work has been carried out to restore the primary road, energy and utility infrastructure of the Karabakh and East Zangazur economic regions so that the citizens of Azerbaijan who were forced to leave their homes can return to their homelands.
In particular, for over a year, Azerbaijan has intensified the creation of the distributive power system in Shusha, where the construction of housing has begun almost immediately after the liberation of the city. Besides, it is planned to start the return of the first 1,500 residents from the end of this year.
That is why the prospects for the development of the energy infrastructure of the Karabakh region were discussed in Shusha, which held a regular meeting of the working group on the energy supply of the Interdepartmental centre acting at the coordinating headquarters for the liberated territories.
The return of former internally displaced persons to the liberated territories is defined as one of the five priorities of the national strategy of Azerbaijan until 2030. The main road map in this regard is the "I State Program on the Great Return to the Liberated Territories", approved by President Ilham Aliyev in November last year and under which the construction of roads, water and other utilities, network and other infrastructure should be accelerated. All this will ensure the process of fast and comfortable resettlement of citizens in the near future. And the most important of the tasks of Karabakh's revival is the rapid implementation of projects in the field of electricity and gas distribution infrastructure.
“The high-voltage power supply system has been almost completely built in Karabakh, work to provide the liberated territories with electricity continues at a rapid pace,” Azerbaijan’s Deputy Energy Minister Elnur Soltanov said, speaking at the 66th meeting of the working group on energy supply in Shusha.
“I would also like to note that green energy technologies are being used in Karabakh. Similar work will be carried out in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and we also plan to use this experience and technologies in other regions of the country,” he added.
According to the deputy minister, significant progress has also been made in the field of gasification and heat supply to the liberated territories: to date, seven facilities have already been built, in the formation of which centralised systems are used that contribute to the effective management of heat supply to the entire region.
However, the greatest progress has been made in the construction of high-voltage transmission lines, substations and other elements of the transmission and distribution system in the Karabakh region.
“In Shusha, work on testing substations with a capacity of 35 kWh is being completed - such facilities, according to world practice, are the most efficient and safe. After completion of testing, we plan to commission similar substations throughout Azerbaijan,” Soltanov said.
In particular, we are talking about a 35 kWh substation built at the Centre for Innovative Technologies in Electricity Networks (CITEN), equipped with the most modern power equipment and SCADA dispatching system covering 0.4-kilovolt networks.
Thanks to this the power supply of Shusha will be transferred to a digital mapping system and a ring scheme of power supply will be created including only nine 35/0.4 kV transformer substations (instead of 48 outdated transformer stations) with modern power cables. This will not only ensure greater reliability of power supply but also reduce network losses, limiting the negative impact on the environmental background of the city.
The design and integration of internal roads with external transport communications have been launched here in Shusha since 2023 for the speedy return of the former settlers.
At the same time, the water supply system in Shusha is being reconstructed, a 25,000-cubic-meter water reservoir has been built on the Zarysli river flowing near the Dashalty village, new pumps and a nine-km-long water pipeline has been installed, as Assistant Special Representative of the President in the Shusha region Kanan Guliyev noted.
The 110/35/10-kilovolt power substation "Shusha" was put into operation in the main city of the district, seven boiler houses with a total capacity of 7,270 kilowatt and modern gas stations were built, hotels "Kharybulbul" and "Karabakh" were put into operation, a conference centre was created. Works on the construction of a school, a hospital and a post office building which will house the services of ASAN-Hidmet and DOST centre are currently at a high speed.
The realisation of most of the above-mentioned projects is planned to finish in 2023 because the resettlement of the first 1,500 residents in Shusha is planned to start in a few months.
"According to the state program ‘Great Return’, to provide the former residents of Shusha with housing and create decent living conditions for them since last August in Shusha started the construction of 23 houses for 450 apartments", Guliyev stressed.
Within the framework of the State Program I "Great Return", the necessary conditions should be created in Karabakh for the return of about 34,500 families by 2027. Besides, since last year, along with Shusha, large-scale urban development projects have been launched, communal and social infrastructure is being formed in Aghdam, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Lachin, and a number of other settlements in the liberated territories.
In this regard, at the 66th meeting of the working group on energy supply, held in Shusha on May 25, along with road projects, special attention was paid to the formation of substations, power lines and other components of the energy system in the Karabakh region.
As is known, in the first ten days of May, with the participation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the Fuzuli digital 110/35/10-kV substation and the Azerishig OJSC Control Centre were launched. At the same time, the head of state launched the Hadrut 35/04 kV hub substation, which is part of the 35 kV ring power supply scheme created between the Shukurbeyli and Shusha substations, and also commissioned the Jabrayil 330 kV hub substation.
All of these facilities are extremely important for the sustainable and uninterrupted supply of electricity to the citizens of the country returning to Karabakh, as well as for the agrarian and industrial clusters being formed in the region.
The high-voltage transmission lines and nodal substations being built in the liberated territories, including such powerful ones as Jabrayil, are extremely important in terms of transferring the energy generated at the Gunesh, Khudaferin, and Giz Galasi hydroelectric power plants to the common energy system.
“The new energy hubs are designed for the implementation of projects of international importance and will allow exporting electricity to the Turkish and European energy markets via the Jabrayil-Nakhchivan-Agri route,” an official representative of Azerenergy OJSC Teymur Abdullayev recently noted.
In the future, new powerful transmission lines and substations will transmit "green" electricity generated by the energy complex being formed in Karabakh and East Zangazur, consisting of small hydroelectric power stations, solar and wind stations, to Türkiye and other countries of the region.
Additionally, the electricity will be transmitted through the recently built largest in the region 330/110-kilovolt Jabrail substation through the energy system of the Zangazur corridor through another 255-kilometre power transmission line to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, where the Shahtakhty substation of similar capacity will be built.
And in the future, another substation will be built at the border of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with Türkiye to convert 330 kV to 400 kV, from where a 230 km double-circuit 400 kV transmission line will be laid to Türkiye.
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