Mongolia has long set a goal to transform from an energy importer to an exporter. However, it remains unable to meet its domestic needs to date. In fact, the country needs to stop being depend on others in terms of the energy sector. Mongolian energy resources, such as coal, solar and wind, are viewed “sufficient” to supply Central Asia butthe country still buys electricity from its two neighbors due to the lack of infrastructure. Therefore, there is an urgent need to implement large energy projects, such as hydropower plant project.
The successful implementation of the long-discussed Erdeneburen hydropower project, which aims to fully satisfy energy demands for the western region locally, is expected to take Mongolia a number of steps further in terms of energy independence. In other words, western provinces will no longer need to rely on imported electricity, be able to get a reliable source of renewable energy and source all of its energy consumption domestically.
Now, construction of the long-delayed Erdeneburen hydropower plant will start from April, 2022 as part of the ‘New Revival Policy’. The construction is expected to be completed within 61 months.
The Ministry of Energy signed a turnkey contract with the project’s contractor last September to ensure the timely construction of the Erdeneburen 90 MW hydropower plant.
The western region where more than 390 thousand people reside imports 75 percent of its energy needs from Russia and China, which means it uses five or six times expensive energy than that being produced at Durgun HPP. The establishment of the hydropower plant will create the possibility to provide the country’s western region with domestically produced energy.
The country’s first hydropower plant, Guulin, was built and commissioned in 1997 in Delger soum of Govi-Altai Province by a Mongolian-Chinese joint venture. Since then, two of the largest energy projects in Mongolia, Taishir and Durgun hydropower plants, have been built and put into operation along with Bogdyn Gol, Tosontsengel, Khungui and Galuutain hydropower plants, satisfying the domestic energy consumption to some extent.