Tag Archives: electricity

Kyrgyzstan needs to update power infrastructure, says World Bank

JULY 21 2021 (The Bulletin) — Kyrgyzstan needs major investment in its aging electricity transmission infrastructure, the World Bank said in a report. Media quoted the World Bank as saying that Soviet-era infrastructure meant that transmission cables and towers were losing a significant proportion of their electricity.

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— This story was published in issue 493 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on July 22 2021

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Power cut strikes Yerevan

JULY 21 2021 (The Bulletin) — A power cut hit a large part of Yerevan, a blackout that analysts linked to a heatwave that has triggered heavy use of air conditioning units and fans. Analysts have said that Armenia needs to do more to increase its electricity production to meet a surge in demand linked to a rise in living standards. It is over-reliant on the Soviet-era Metsamor nuclear power station to generate power. The 45-year-old power plant was supposed to be decommissioned in 2017/18. Instead, its lifespan has now been extended until 2027.

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— This story was published in issue 493 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on July 22 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Uzbekistan works on reform of electricity market

JUNE 16 2021 (The Bulletin) — Private companies will be able to sell electricity by the hour in Uzbekistan from 2025, the Uzbek government said in a decree, the latest move to alleviate a shortage of power production in the country. The reforms are planned in three stages and should give consumers more choice. Pres. Shavkat Mirziyoyev has promised various liberal reforms since he came to power in 2016.

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— This story was published in issue 48 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 16 2021

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Georgian PM says he wants new terms on controversial dam

TBILISI/JUNE 9 2021 (The Bulletin) — After months of protests, Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili said that he wanted to renegotiate the terms that Turkish construction company Enka and Norway’s Clean Energy Group were given to build and run the Namakhavani Hydropower Plant in the Rioni Valley in the west of the country. 

Protesters have said that the project, slated to be Georgia’s biggest hydropower plant, damages the countryside and is too lenient towards the foreign investors. The government has said that the Namakhavani Hydropower Plant is vital for its future energy generation projects as it will boost energy production by 15% and must go ahead.

Protesters have blocked access to the site for the past seven months and staged rallies in both Kutaisi and Tbilisi which have attracted thousands of people. Police have made several arrests at some of the protests in the Rioni Valley after clashes with demonstrators.

Enka Renewables, in which Enka owns a 90% stake and Clean Energy Groups owns a 10% stake, signed an $800m deal to build and run the Namakhavani hydropower plant with Georgia in April 2019. 

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— This story was published in issue 48 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 16 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

BP agrees to build wind farm in Nagorno-Karabakh

BAKU/JUNE 7 2021 (The Bulletin) — BP has signed a deal to build a 240MW wind farm in Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed region that Azerbaijan captured from Armenia last year, Azerbaijan’s energy ministry said.

BP declined to comment when contacted by The Bulletin but Gary Jones, the BP regional head, was quoted in the Azerbaijani energy ministry’s press release.

“We believe the collaborative work we are commencing on this solar opportunity can lead to a new area of partnership through which BP can make an important contribution to Azerbaijan’s energy transition,” he said.

For Azerbaijan signing a deal with BP to develop an energy project in Nagorno-Karabakh is something of a PR coup. It has rushed to invest in the region since a peace deal was agreed with Armenia in November, ending a six-week war that killed 6,000 people, but, although Turkish companies have signed deals, BP is the first Western company to invest.

And Azerbaijani energy minister Parviz Shahbazov appeared to recognise the importance of the deal.

“I do hope that our active cooperation with BP on the 240MW solar energy project will pave the way for foreign investments in Karabakh,” he was quoted as saying.

BP is a major investor in Azerbaijan. It runs the country’s biggest oil and gas projects including the Shah Deniz project and pipeline infrastructure which pumps gas to Europe. 

BP’s deal to invest in Nagorno-Karabakh also comes after a visit to Baku last month by Britain’s export minister, Graham Stuart.

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— This story was published in issue 487 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 9 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar wins tender to build wind farm in Uzbekistan

JUNE 2 2021 (The Bulletin) — Masdar, the renewable energy company owned by Abu Dhabi’s state investment fund Mubadala, won an Uzbek government tender to build a 457MW solar power plant in southern Uzbekistan. The plant is part of a wider programme to reorientate Uzbekistan’s power production programme towards green energy. 

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— This story was published in issue 487 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 9 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

 

Georgia suspends controversial hydro-dam project

TBILISI/MARCH 12 (The Bulletin) — Apparently bowing to pressure from environmentalists and local residents, the Georgian government suspended work on the construction of its Namakhvani Hydro Power Project. 

Natia Turneva, the Georgian economy minister, said that the project had been suspended to allow for extra studies on the “reliability and safety” of the project. 

“This is a very important large hydropower plant with an installed capacity of 430 MW. It will bring in $800 million in foreign direct investments,” she said.

This is the line that the government has consistently taken with the project, one of the most controversial energy projects in Georgia.

Police and demonstrators have clashed near the construction site of the Namakhvani HPP on the Rioni River in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains. It is slated to be the largest power plant in Georgia when it is complete, generating 15% of Georgia’s energy.

Ms Turneva said that Georgian experts and institutions would be hired to carry out independent surveys of the impact of the dam on the environment and on local communities and that a $1.5m Rioni Gorge Development Fund would be set up to help people relocate.

The hydropower project, which is being developed in two parts — a Lower Namakhvani HPP (333 MW) and the Upper Namakhvani HPP (100 MW) — is being financed by international donors, including the Norway-based Clean Energy Group, and is being constructed by Enka, Turkey’s largest construction company.

Protesters, who complain about the environmental damage and the forced resettling of people from the area, have blocked access to the site for more than four months. They said that the government couldn’t suspend the project as construction work had not started yet.

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— This story was published in issue 475 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on March 15 2021

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Uzbekistan restarts two power station units

MARCH 1 2021 (The Bulletin) — Two units of one of Central Asia’s largest power stations, the Soviet-built gas-fired Syrdarya TPP in Uzbekistan, were turned back on after renovation. The firing up of units 5 and 6 will ease pressure on Central Asia’s electricity supply, especially in Uzbekistan. Russian Power Machines has been overseeing the renovation. In 2019 it repaired units 3 and 4 and later this year it expects to complete the project when units 9 and 10 are restarted. 

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— This story was published in issue 474 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on March 5 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Azerbaijan says it will build a floating solar power station

FEB. 5 2021 (The Bulletin) — Azerbaijan said that it will build a floating power station with a capacity of 100kW on Boyuksor Lake near Baku, part of its drive to ramp up power production. It named Spain’s Gamma Solutions as the main contractor for the project. Azerbaijan, like other countries in the FSU, has been trying to boost power generation capacity to match a surge in demand. 

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— This story was first published in issue 471 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Coronavirus forces closure of Kazatomprom mines

JAN. 20 2021 (The Bulletin) — Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s majority state-owned uranium miner, suspended operations at two of its mines in the south of the country after workers tested positive for the coronavirus. Kazatomprom didn’t say how many workers had contracted the coronavirus at its sites in the Turkestan region, nor for how long they will be closed for. Kazatomprom also didn’t say what effect the closures would have on output.

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— This story was first published in issue 469 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

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