19 Jan 2010 17:32

Tajik president replaces energy company chief

DUSHANBE. Jan 19 (Interfax) - Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon has signed a government decree on Tuesday, sacking Sanat Rakhimov, the director of public joint-stock company, Barki Tochik ("Tajikistan Energy"), and appointing ex-energy minister Abdullo Yerov to this position, the president's press office said.

The reasons for the new appointment were not specified.

Barki Tochik is fully state-owned.

Rakhimov had spent just one year in this office, during which time the Tajik grid experienced the largest disruption in its history. On November 9, 2009, 75% of the population, and in particular aluminum company Talco, spent nearly four hours with no power supply. More than six-hour-long power outages at an aluminum factory can result in the hardening of metal in electrolytic baths and can therefore lead to great losses.

Yerov served as Tajik Energy Minister in 2000-2004 and then in 2006. In recent years, he led the industry and energy department in the president's executive office.