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Kyrgyzstan Plans To Build 12 Small Hydropower Stations

One of Kyrgyzstan's current reservoirs, at Toktogul

One of Kyrgyzstan's current reservoirs, at Toktogul

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz official says that country will build 12 small hydropower stations in 2010, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Valery Dil, head of Kyrgyzstan's office for small and medium-sized hydropower plants at the Development and Investment Agency, told RFE/RL today that small power plants with a capacity of 1.5 to 2 megawatts each will be built in nearly all parts of the country.

He added that a government loan of some $150 million has been provided for the projects.

Earlier this week, government officials said the first unit of the Kambarata-2 hydropower station will be operational by May. It is designed to have a capacity of 360 megawatts.

Kyrgyz authorities hope to alleviate the country's electricity problems with the Kambarata-1 and Kambarata-2 power plants, which are on the Naryn River in north-central Kyrgyzstan.

Much of Kyrgyzstan's energy is imported from Uzbekistan, which is dependent on Kyrgyz water resources.

Uzbekistan has several times in recent years stopped exporting electricity to Kyrgyzstan during the winter, leading to energy shortages.

The Uzbek government has complained that the additional hydropower plants in Kyrgyzstan will reduce the amount of water Uzbekistan will receive from its neighbor to irrigate agricultural fields.