On January 6, the vitality ministers of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan signed an settlement on the development of the Kambar-Ata-1 hydropower plant on the Naryn river in Kyrgyzstan.
Assembly in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Vitality Minister Taalaibek Ibraev, Kazakh Vitality Minister Bolat Aqsholaqov, and Uzbek Vitality Minister Jurabek Mirzamahmudov signed a roadmap for the development of the long-awaited dam, emphasizing that the mission would profit all three international locations.
Ibraev framed the mission as offering a pathway to vitality safety for Kyrgyzstan.
“If we construct the Kambar-Ata-1 hydroelectric energy station along with neighboring international locations, the scarcity of electrical energy in our nation will probably be eradicated,” he mentioned. The doc signed between the three ministers has been described as a “roadmap.”
“Preparations for the development of the Kambar-Ata-1 hydroelectric energy plant, building of roads, bridges, energy strains, building websites are being ready,” Ibraev mentioned.
Kambar-Ata-1 (additionally written as Kambarata-1) isn’t a brand new proposal. Certainly, the primary such hydropower mission on the website was begun in 1986, however building fell sufferer to the Soviet collapse in 1991. By 2008, Russia had taken up the Kambar-Ata-1 mission and the Higher Naryn Cascade mission and pledged funding; nonetheless, little precise work was achieved and by 2014 — particularly after Russia invaded Crimea — it became clear that the initiatives have been not a priority for Moscow.
In late 2015, then-Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev was brazenly questioning Russia’s dedication, saying in an end-of-year press convention: “I don’t like uncompleted building initiatives, one ought to be real looking. All of us see the state of the Russian economic system, it’s, shall we embrace, not on the rise, and for goal causes, these agreements (on the development of hydropower vegetation) can’t be carried out by the Russian social gathering.”
In fact, the query then grew to become: If not Russia, who would fund this large mission?
That element has not been fleshed out in reporting on the latest roadmap signing, however this previous summer time, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov attended the marketed launch of construction on the website and announced that 412.8 million Kyrgyz soms had been allotted from the finances for “analysis, feasibility examine and different work.” He additionally mentioned that 1.5 billion soms had been allotted from the finances “as a way to independently start building work on the facility.”
In essence, begin to construct it they usually (further funding and companions, that’s) will come.
The mission will embody the development of a dam, estimated at 256 meters, and an influence plant with put in capability of 1,860 megawatts. In accordance with 24.kg’s reporting, “The Kambarata HPP-1 will generate a mean of 5.6 billion kilowatt-hours of electrical energy with a full reservoir quantity of 5.4 billion cubic meters of water.”
In gentle of the roadmap signing with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, correct building is predicted to now begin by 2024 and the first unit planned to be operational by 2028. Kambar-Ata-1 is however one in every of a number of hydropower initiatives alongside the Naryn river which were recommended or studied over time.
A decade in the past, Uzbekistan was not an enormous fan of the Kambar-Ata-1 mission (simply because it was not so eager on Tajikistan’s Rogun dam) with the nation’s primary considerations being the menace to its water provides if dams have been constructed upstream and the specter of another vitality exporter within the area. However instances have modified, each politically in Uzbekistan but in addition with regard to regional vitality provides. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan have all in recent times suffered from appreciable vitality shortages, significantly in winter; they might all profit from further provides within the neighborhood.
All that mentioned, it’s nonetheless an extended pathway forward. On the earliest, Kambar-Ata-1 would be capable to begin producing electrical energy in 2028. The financing stays unclear, and such initiatives will not be low-cost. Lastly, as Central Asia’s glaciers continue to shrink, the long-term worth of those large hydroelectric initiatives might dwindle too.