Question on Uzbekistan's decision to withdraw from unified energy system of Central Asia can be solved in next two days: source

Kazakhstan, Astana, October 13 / Trend , K.Konirova /

The question to resolve the situation with regards to Uzbekistan's decision to withdraw from the unified energy system of Central Asia can be solved in the next two days, a source from the KEGOC National Company, who wished to remain anonym, told Trend special correspondent.

"At present, the 9th meeting of the Coordinating Council on Power Industry of Central Asian countries take place in Shushinsk (a resort town, which is located at 250 km from Astana), with participation of representatives from all four countries - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The meeting focuses on the ways to solve this situation," said the source.

According to the source, Kazakhstan's national company initially received from their Uzbek colleagues an announcement on intention to withdraw from the unified energy system. Then, this week, a second letter came, which specifically informed of the decision and that, by October 15 of this year, Uzbekistan withdraws from the unified energy system of Central Asia.

As was earlier reported, this could lead to the fact that some spheres of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan can face a shortage of electricity. According to the source, if a compromise is not found, and Uzbekistan will upholds its decision, Kazakhstan will be able to find a way out of this situation.

"Technically, our republic will be able to cope with power shortages if Uzbekistan withdraws from unified energy system. We can increase the load on the Zhambul power station, which, however, operates on fuel oil," said the source.  

According to the source, the option of Zhambul can only be a temporary measure, as well as electricity from fuel oil is more expensive. Also, if Uzbekistan withdraws from the system for a longer term or permanently, the main difficulties will arise during the summer in the south, where the cotton growers in Kazakhstan will experience a shortage of water for irrigation.

"Kyrgyzstan will have to pull water from the Toktogul hydroelectric power station to cover its deficit with electricity. And launching water from Toktogul will affect Kazakhstan's cotton growers," said the representative of KEGOC.

However, according to the source, there is hope that the sides can reach a compromise in the next two days during next meetings in Kazakhstan, in Shuchinsk.

Regional energy system in Central Asia was established in Soviet times as a single system, which allows transferring electric energy between the energy systems of states and using the main water reservoirs for irrigation. However, after the collapse of the Union and establishment of independent republics, there were problems with mutual accounts.

Uzbekistan's withdrawal from this system has a direct impact on neighboring states.

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