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    Expert says new hydropower plant too expensive for Kyrgyzstan


    June 13, 2022 - BBC International Reports (Central Asia)

     

      By BBC Monitoring

      An energy expert, Rasul Umbetaliyev, has said that it will be difficult for Kyrgyzstan's authorities to build the Kambar-Ata 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant without financial assistance of foreign countries or international financial institutions, privately-owned news website Vesti.kg reported on 9 June.

      "The opening of the construction of the Kambar-Ata 1 power plant with participation of President Sadyr Japarov is the fifth attempt to implement the energy project. President Sadyr Japarov and the Cabinet of Ministers previously launched the construction of the Kambar-Ata 1 power plant in Dzhalal-Abad Region. It is expected that the power plant with the established capacity of 1,860 megawatts will annually produce 5.6bn kilowatt hours of electricity after the completion of the construction," the report said.

      The energy expert believes that Kyrgyzstan will face serious financial difficulties while implementing the Kambar-Ata 1 project due to an economic decline in the country.

      "First of all, I would like to ask whether the government will be able to implement this undoubtedly very expensive project because Kyrgyzstan is in an economic crisis. The construction of the power plant will require $3-4bn. New debts for citizens of Kyrgyzstan? Secondly, there is a risk that it will become a long-delayed construction project. It is already the fifth attempt to launch the construction of the Kambar-Ata 1 power plant. They tried to launch this project for the first time in 1986: they conducted an economic feasibility study, carried out construction works, built roads and tunnels. Unfortunately, we halted construction activities after the collapse of the USSR. Kyrgyzstan attempted to build the power plant for the second time in the early 2000s. The Kambar-Ata 1 project was launched for the third time in 2009 when Kurmanbek Bakiyev was holding the post of president. The country launched the energy project for the fourth time with the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin in September 2012. Finally, it is the fifth attempt to launch the construction of the power plant this year. I hope that it will become a successful project. Kyrgyzstan needs to achieve energy independence, we already have an annual electricity shortage of 3-4bn kilowatt hours," the website noted.

      Rasul Umbetaliyev criticised the minister of energy, Doskul Bekmurzayev, for launching the construction of the Kambar-Ata 1 power plant without presenting the results of the economic feasibility study.

      "It is unacceptable to launch the power plant's construction without a project design and an economic feasibility study. The current energy minister said they had all documents - both the project design and the economic feasibility study. However, I believe that they do not have any documents. It is important to note that such projects are eventually becoming long-delayed construction projects without documents, or commercially unfeasible as it was the case with the Datka-Kemin power transmission line. The president should not be in an awkward situation due to unpreparedness of senior officials responsible for the construction of the power plant," the expert added.

      Source: Vesti.kg in Russian 0307 gmt 9 Jun 22

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