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Kyrgyzstan Scraps Hydropower Project Deal With Czech Company

Sapar Isakov (file photo)

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sapar Isakov says his government has canceled an agreement with a Czech company to construct parts of Upper Naryn Cascade hydropower project and several other hydropower plants.

Speaking at a government session on September 18, Isakov said that he had given orders to his cabinet to cancel the agreement with Liglass Trading Company and prepare a new tender.

In July, the Kyrgyz president’s website said that Liglass Trading of the Czech Republic had been chosen to implement the ambitious hydropower project.

Several days later, Czech and Kyrgyz media reports expressed doubts about Liglass's financial turnover and capabilities.

Michal Smelik of Liglass Trading on July 21
Michal Smelik of Liglass Trading on July 21

Kyrgyz officials said they failed to find any official data proving the company's successful achievements on any international construction projects.

The chairman of Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for Industry, Energy, and Exploration, Duishenbek Zilaliev, said on July 17 that Liglass has 50 days to start fulfilling its financial obligations or the deal with the Czech company will be scrapped.

Under the deal, Liglass was required to pay $37 million to Russia by September 19, effectively buying out RusHydro’s shares in the Upper Naryn Cascade project.

Liglass General Director Michael Smelik told journalists in Bishkek on September 18 that his company is unable to pay the amount to Russia on time.