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EurasiaNet News Briefs – Kazakhstan: Astana Decides to Turn Out the Lights on Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

10 aprile 2009

Kazakhstan announced on February 26 that it had withdrawn from Central Asia’s energy grid. Officials in Astana explained that they felt compelled to take such action to protect the government’s ability to provide steady service inside the country.

“This measure will allow for reliable energy supplies to domestic consumers, and for stable work of the national energy grid,” the Itar-Tass news agency reported, quoting a statement by the press service of the joint stock company Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC). The company manages Kazakhstan’s energy grid.

Murat Mukhamedsaliyev, chief of KEGOC’s public relations service, said Kazakhstan felt compelled to act because of a “disbalance of energy production and consumption in Central Asia.” Tajikistan had engaged in the unplanned consumption of 84 million kilowatt-hours, causing four blackouts in southern and central Kazakhstan, Mukhamedsaliyev noted.

Kazakhstan’s departure from the regional grid already has contributed to electricity shortages in the already energy-starved Kyrgyzstan, including in the capital Bishkek, where electricity is turned off daily between 6 pm and 10 pm. In certain areas of Kyrgyzstan, electricity supplies are limited to only 6-8 hours per day.

Kyrgyzstan is presently negotiating with both Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, trying to convince Astana to return in the Central Asian grid. Meanwhile, Dushanbe has announced that it has stopped unplanned electricity consumption.

Posted February 26, 2009 © Eurasianet

EurasiaNet News Briefs – Kazakhstan: Astana Decides to Turn Out the Lights on Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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