Kyrgyz Republic suffers weak hydrology, gets funding boost

23 December 2008

The World Bank said that the hydro power-dependent Central Asian country was experiencing a dry hydrological cycle made worse by a severe winter, resulting in uncertain power production from its generating assets.

There are 3.4GW of hydro assets in the country, and the portfolio is dominated by the Naryn cascade which is regulated by the Toktogul reservoir.

A key step for the Bank is to support the thermal power plants at Bishkek and Osh, which supply power as well as heat to major cities but are down in production capacity from 700MW to 200MW. Funds of US$11M have been provided under an emergency assistance project to finance equipment, material and spare parts for the plants but noted that the work will take almost a year and a half to complete.

Further funding has been given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - which also noted the drop in hydro power output - to help the country tackle the same as well as more widespread energy and economic problems. Over 18 months the IMF will give about US$100M.

However, despite the ongoing hydrological difficulties, earlier this month the bilateral talks between the Kyrgyz and Iranian governments highlighted a number of areas of proposed economic and infrastructure co-operation, including dam construction.

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