The Bishkek thermal power plant has been ordered to completely modernize, after a blast at the aging heat and electricity generating facility left parts of the city without hot water and heating.
Three people were seriously injured in an explosion at the plant early on February 2nd. The breakdown forced authorities to declare hot water and heating restrictions in some parts of the city as the plant’s staff worked to repair the damage.
Kyrgyzstan’s president Sadyr Japarov visited the plant as work was being done to get the facility back online.
In an interview to the Kabar news agency, Mr Japarov said he has given instructions to completely modernize the thermal power plant. “This will require a lot of money, but there is no other way out. We will have to find it [money],” the president said, mentioning that the thermal power plant was launched back in 1961 and its equipment is very outdated. “Despite this, we continue to operate it, repairing it every summer to get through the heating season.”
The last major accident at the Bishkek thermal power plant occurred in January 2018. At the time the plant’s breakdown left the city without heating for three days amid freezing air temperatures. Work to modernize the plant commenced in 2014, following a 2013 loan agreement between China’s Export-Import Bank and the Kyrgyz government. China’s Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co. Ltd. (TBEA) was granted the contract and modernized the plant for $386 million.
Today’s accident occurred in the old part of the power plant that was not modernized. In the interview, Mr Japarov said that instead of partially reconstructing the power plant, it was necessary to completely renovate it or build a new facility.