19 Jan 2023 13:20

Severe cold causes emergency power outages in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK. Jan 19 (Interfax) - Freezing weather has caused emergency power outages in Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz Energy Minister Taalaibek Ibrayev said at the parliament on Thursday.

"Electricity consumption has grown many times over, and daily usage has increased by 20.5 million kilowatt/hours. We were ready for anything but emergency power outages: we did not take such abnormal cold into consideration," Ibrayev said.

Kyrgyz electricity distribution companies published a power outage schedule on Thursday. The schedule envisages two or three hours of daily blackouts.

Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Bakyt Torobayev said on January 17 that the electricity deficit caused by severe cold might reach 1.9 billion kilowatt/hours, which is why contracts for importing 2 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity were concluded with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Kyrgyzstan has seen a record amount of power consumption, 76 million kilowatt/hours, in the recent days as temperatures started to drop, Torobayev said. Water intake from the Toktogul water reservoir (of the Toktogul Hydropower Plant) has been maximized because of that.

People in Kyrgyzstan have been complaining about sporadic blackouts over the past few days. Kyrgyz electricity companies deny rolling blackouts but say these are scheduled measures, which aim to prevent large accidents.

Abnormally cold weather hit Kyrgyzstan on January 10. Temperatures dropped to minus 24 degrees Celsius in the plains and as much as minus 52 degrees Celsius in certain highland areas. Kyrgyz weathermen say the cold will continue until the end of the month.