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Kyrgyz HES: How Toktogul HES is modernized and why new facilities not built

The issue of lack of capacity in the country’s electric power system becomes repeatedly relevant in the run-up to the new heating season. Toktogul hydroelectric station, of course, is being repaired. But the country needs new stations, the construction of which is in question.

New breath of Toktogul HES

Today, Toktogul HES remains the flagship of the country’s power industry. Its capacity is 1,200 megawatts, which is about 40 percent of the country’s total energy capacity. The station is currently undergoing modernization.

«A contract has been signed with GE Hydro (France) and GE Renewable (Switzerland) for modernization of the Toktogul hydroelectric station for $ 104 million,» Electric Stations OJSC told 24.kg news agency.

Toktogul HES modernization project is being implemented in three phases. The station has been commissioned in 1975. Today, the resources of its main equipment have been depleted. Previously, there were no reconstructions, therefore the equipment of the hydroelectric station became obsolete and it became necessary to completely replace it.

The modernization of Toktogul HES consists of three phases. Implementation of the first one began in May 2017.

Up to date, the main electromechanical equipment has been replaced at all four power units of the HES — power transformers and cable lines. New equipment has been installed that meets the world safety standards and is made of modern materials. It was it that needed a priority replacement.

«Thanks to the transparency of the selection of project implementers, we managed to save some of the funds. This made it possible to carry out additional reconstruction of the distribution structure of the HES. To date, we have completed the work planned for the first phase of the project. Due to this, the costs of annual repair and maintenance work will be significantly reduced,» Electric Stations company said.

During the second and third phases, four units of Toktogul HES will be replaced.

This work will be financed by the Asian and Eurasian Development Banks. Designing and manufacturing of equipment for Toktogul HES is ongoing at the factories. Completion of three phases will ultimately increase the capacity of Toktogul HES by up to 240 megawatts.

«This project deserves to be considered as construction of a new hydroelectric station, similar to the Kambarata hydro power station-2. Operational life of Toktogul HES will be extended by 35-40 years,» the power engineers believe.

Upper Naryn under the burden of proceedings

The rest of the large projects in Kyrgyzstan are not working out. After departure of RusHydro and the scandal with Liglass Trading, officials with an enviable frequency promise to bring an investor into the project for construction of the Upper Naryn HPP cascade. But the matter does not move further.

The domestic Kaganat Invest LLC is ready to invest in the construction of the Upper Naryn cascade.

But not everything is smooth here. The project cannot be started in its current state. «As for the Upper Naryn HPP cascade, the work on attracting investments to continue construction has so far stopped at several problems,» the Electric Stations admitted.

Before embarking on negotiations with a potential investor, it is necessary to obtain a decision to compensate the costs incurred by RusHydro PJSC during the construction of the Upper Naryn cascade in 2012-14.

«At present, negotiations with Kaganat Invest have been suspended due to the need to resolve the issue with RusHydro PJSC to determine the further status of the debt of $ 37 million. Electric Stations Company is developing measures to legally resolve issues related to debt repayment and determine the further role of the Upper Naryn HPPs CJSC,» the company said.

To develop solutions, the government created an interdepartmental working group by its order. It includes representatives of ministries and departments, local authorities of the construction zone of the Upper Naryn cascade. But it is unclear when a decision on the project will be made.

Kambarata-1 will be financed by consortium

At the end of February, the now former head of Electric Stations, Taalaibek Tolubaev, unexpectedly announced that Kyrgyzstan could build Kambarata HPP-1 itself. Moreover, possible options were proposed for resumption of work on the construction of the station.

It was planned to do everything to start the maximum turnaround of work by the time of the arrival of a potential investor. First, it is necessary to restore the transport and social-production infrastructure of the construction site of Kambarata HPP-1.

«Negotiations are underway with the Asian Development Bank on financing the project by creating a consortium of banks. By order of the government, an interdepartmental working group was created for development of the financial model of the project for construction of Kambarata HPP-1,» Electric Stations Company said.