Tajikistan power shortage worsens

Tajikistan's energy crisis deepens as Kyrgyzstan cuts power supplies due to debt.

    Residents in the capital Dushanbe have been rationed to 10 hours of electricity a day [GALLO/GETTY]

    Igor Chudinov, Kyrgyzstan's prime minister, told a cabinet meeting that his country was stopping its daily supply of 11 million kilowatt hours because Tajikistan was refusing to "pay back" 55 million kwh per day once spring comes.
     
    "The export volume will gradually increase to reach four million kwh a day," said an executive from Uzbekenergo, an Uzbek power company.
     
    Uzbekistan, which Tajikistan is depending on for energy imports, has also been feeling the strain of the cold snap.
     
    The authorities in Tajikistan were forced to ration electricity supplies to Dushanbe, the capital, last week as the weather paralysed the republic's power grid.
     
    Plunging temperatures
     
    Winter temperatures that usually hover around 0C have fallen well below freezing, reaching -20C in some areas of the country which has a population of 7.2 million.
     
    The cold has iced over a river feeding the lake that drives the Nurek hydroelectric power plant, which supplies 60 per cent of the country's power.
     
    Residents in the capital have been rationed to 10 hours of electricity a day, while water supplies are erratic and the urban heating system is off.
     
    Outlying regions in the mountainous country are reaching 90 minutes of electricity a day at most.
     
    While Uzbekistan exports energy, much of its rural population has been suffering gas and electricity shortages as it also feels the pinch of the cold weather.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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