Kyrgyzstan exports electricity, increases coal consumption

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BISHKEK (TCA) — For the first time over recent years, the water level in the reservoir of the Toktogul hydro power plant, the largest in Kyrgyzstan, has reached its maximum. The reservoir has currently 19.6 billion cubic meters of water, 2.7 billion cubic meters more compared to the same period last year. This gives Kyrgyzstan an opportunity to export electricity to neighboring countries, Vice Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Duishenbek Zilaliyev said.

The Toktogul reservoir, located in the Toktogul district of the Jalal-Abad oblast in the south of the country, is the largest reservoir not only in Kyrgyzstan but also in Central Asia. It was formed by the dam of the Toktogul hydro power plant (HPP) on the Naryn River. The reservoir’s area is 284 square kilometers, and the average depth is about 215 meters. Construction of the reservoir took more than a decade and was completed in the mid-1970s.

The Toktogul HPP cascade includes two stations – the Toktogul HPP with a capacity of 1,200 MW and the Kurpsai HPP with a capacity of 800 MW. The Toktogul HPP is the largest power plant, generating up to 40 percent of electricity in the country.

Favorable situation

Duishenbek Zilaliyev ordered the State Committee for Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use to cancel the earlier Government’s decision to limit the electricity consumption for heating private homes with a three-phase input. “Water reserves allow us to do this,” he said.

In January-July 2017, the country produced 8.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, 23.3% more than in 2016.

Due to the favorable situation with the accumulation of water in the Toktogul reservoir, Kyrgyzstan has exported 573.1 million kWh of electricity over the first seven months of 2017 with a plan of 410 million kWh.

Uzbekistan has paid $9.3 million to Kyrgyzstan for electricity, the head of the National Energy Holding Aibek Kaliyev said. According to the agreement, Kyrgyzstan will export 1.2 billion kWh to Uzbekistan.

Introducing KPIs

To effectively manage its subsidiaries, the National Energy Holding Company intends to introduce key performance indicators (KPIs).

The National Energy Holding Company JSC is the main shareholder of several JSCs including Electric Stations, National Electric Networks of Kyrgyzstan, Severelectro, Oshelektro, Jalal-Abatelektro, and others.

The KPIs based motivation system serves as an incentive for the company’s employees to achieve high individual results, useful for fulfilling the company’s strategic goals. The better an employee will perform his or her tasks, the more reward will be.

The Government tasked power distribution companies to reduce losses in the energy sector and reduce corruption, but these tasks have not been duly fulfilled. The distribution companies have also failed to install “smart” electricity meters in the regions and ensure transparency in public procurement.

Using coal

After the energy crisis caused by the lack of water in the Toktogul reservoir in 2008, the coal industry began to develop to cover the electricity deficit.

Electricity consumption has been growing by 10% annually since 2012 in Bishkek, but no new generation facilities have been built so far. Big plans to construct powerful hydroelectric power plants on the Naryn River — the Kambarata 1 HPP and Upper Naryn HPPs cascade — have failed after in January 2016 Kyrgyzstan denounced agreements between the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Russia on their construction.

The Kyrgyz Government advised the population to use coal in order to save electricity. The operating hydroelectric power stations cannot meet the needs of developing entrepreneurship.

The Bishkek Thermal Power Plant (TPP) will fully switch to domestic coal consumption after its reconstruction is over this year. New HPPs could resolve the situation, but building of new HPPs is not expected in the near future.

Kyrgyzstan needs 2.3 million tons of coal for the forthcoming heating season. Of these, budget institutions need 240.9 thousand tons, the population – 1.7 million tons, and Bishkek TPP needs 100 thousand tons of coal.

The Government developed plans for the coal industry recovery in order to meet the demand for coal by the population, budget organizations and the Bishkek TPP. The coal industry development is now considered a priority to ensure the country’s energy security.

Kyrgyzstan has signed an agreement on the import of 450 thousand tons of coal for the Bishkek TPP. Another 550 thousand tons of coal will be purchased from local coal producers. Currently, the relevant ministries and agencies are holding tenders for the purchase of coal.

Local authorities have to conduct an information campaign among the population to make people start buying coal for heating their homes this coming winter, Zilaliyev said. It is necessary to open more coal sales bases. To date, the population has purchased only 8% of the coal it needs for the heating season.