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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[04.12.2OO2] Kyrgyz Energy: Truth and Tales

Excerpts from the Interview with U. Mateev, Head of State Agency on Energy at the Government of the KR:
It took Kyrgyz Scientific Technology Center on Energy and Power Engineering (formerly Research Scientific Institute on Power Engineering) 5 years to elaborate a National program on development of Kyrgyz energy sector at the request of the government.
The program is based on a thorough analysis of our energy industry and encompasses coal, water energy and gas sectors along with untraditional sources of energy.
We cannot afford to depend solely on water energy, as there is a draught in Kyrgyzstan every 5-7 years. This means that we will have no water energy unless we accumulate enough water in the reservoirs. As a consequence, there will be extensive energy shortage through out the republic, as it was the case in 1997.
It is essential to understand that our country is not capable to provide for all types of energy sources. The program outlines development priorities, makes suggestions on how to diversify and balance out energy options so that to become self-sufficient. It even spells out which specialists should be trained. Now it is popular to be a lawyer, an economics or a journalist rather than a power engineer or geologist.
State agency on energy had no other option but to raise the tariffs to improve the overall financial situation of the energy sector. Since 1990 consumption structure has been redistributed. Population used to consume about 8% of energy in the past. Now the figure went up to 56 % on average and up to 90% in such regions as Naryn. Our energy lines cant provide for the population needs. Industrial sector is supplied with energy through the high voltage lines. The amount of energy transferred is 8 times as much as it used to be. No lines, not to mention outdated ones, can manage it. As a consequence, the number malfunctions for low voltage lines increases by 2000 every year. There were 8 thousand cases in 1999, 10 thousand in 2000 and already 13 thousand in 2001. Today there is a malfunction in low voltage lines every 32 minutes.
Therefore we had to raise tariffs by 890 mln soms to cover reconstruction and rehabilitation costs for the low voltage lines. Otherwise these numbers will inevitably go up. Besides, we had to take a loan of 200 mln dollars to reconstruct high voltage lines and build new substations.
For the energy sector to maintain balance it has to receive 7 bln soms per year or 19.2 mln soms per day. To round up the figure, we get 1 mln soms per hour. Thats the cost of malfunction in the energy system. Suspend it for an hour and throw away a million, another hour-another million dumped. Now you have a notion of the money that has to circulate in the energy industry every day. Of course we cant collect such an amount from the domestic market. 4.6 bln soms is the most optimistic figure here. The remaining 2.4 bln soms have to be collected from the neighbors consuming our energy, that is about 2.2 bln kWh a year. However, the figure is nowhere close to the necessary amount just 835 mln soms of energy exported. The remaining 1.2 bln soms have to be obtained from other sources.
Besides 1 % of energy lost costs us 165.2 mln soms.
Prime cost of one hydro-calorie, generated by a Heat Plant is worth at least 700 soms. Prime cost of one hydro-calorie for the boiler shops is worth over 1000 soms and 390 soms is the tariff paid by the population
.Heating tariffs will not go up this season. This much I can say for sure. The 1.2-bln som shortage is not such a serious problem and will not result in a breakdown of the republican energy sector. So far the situation is manageable though we dont have any sources to cover the missing amount. We will do our best not to put the burden on the population this winter.
MK Note: 105 thousand kilometers is the overall length of the Kyrgyz power transmission lines. Besides, there are about 20 thousand transformer substations in the Kyrgyz Republic. It takes about 2.3 bln soms to reconstruct one of them.
6,992.2 mln. kWh of energy was supplied to the substations in the 9 months of 2002. 2457 kWh (35,14%) of them account for technical and commercial losses. 2420 mln soms was collected for the 4535.2 kWh of energy. Out of them, 1241 mln soms as offset and barter operations, 494 mln soms - offset with the state budget organizations and only 685 mln soms in real cash.
Moskovskyi Komsomolets v Kyrgyzstane, December 4, 2002

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