Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan successfully resolve hydro energy issues

The Kazakh government will provide humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan for the purchase of coal and fuel, and is also prepared to invest US$100 million in the country’s economy.

Tair Shamshiev

2009-12-09

KYRGYZSTAN ― On Dec. 1 in Astana, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov, and Kyrgyz Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov discussed regional hydro energy issues and ways to resolve them in light of Uzbekistan’s departure from the Central Asian Unified Energy System. A combination of long overdue reforms in this area is forcing governments to adopt emergency measures.

The agreements signed as a result of the meeting are intended to address the most urgent issues, namely the energy shortfall in Kyrgyzstan during the winter period and rationing the demand for water from Kyrgyzstan’s Toktogul reservoir.

The Kazakh government will give its neighbour approximately US$6 million in humanitarian aid for the purchase of coal and fuel for its power stations. In addition, Kazakhstan is prepared to invest $100 million in Kyrgyzstan.

Usenov noted that, “Today, with the involvement of Kazakh capital in Kyrgyzstan, the building industry, banking sector, gold-mining and agricultural processing industries are all recovering.”

The Kazakh government will also prepay Kyrgyzstan for the supply of 543 million kilowatts of electricity, and will become a partner in a project to construct new power transmission lines, which should in future ensure the energy security of Kyrgyzstan and southern Kazakhstan. The first of these is the Kemin-Almaty line, which will cost $140 million.

In exchange, Kazakhstan has requested that the Kyrgyz government favourably resolve the status of Kazakh pensioners on Issyk Kul Lake’s shores, and also regulate the demand for water from the Toktogul reservoir during the winter period. Excessive use in winter gives rise to the threat of flooding over a large part of Kazakhstan’s southern regions.

Usenov assured the Kazakh government that the demand for water would be regulated, and praised the Kazakh leadership's determination to resolve the region’s hydro energy issues.

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