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Secrets and scandals of Upper Naryn HPP cascade

24.kg news agency
Photo 24.kg news agency

New scandalous details were revealed in the case on the return of money spent on the construction of Upper Naryn cascade of hydroelectric power plants. However, Kyrgyz officials prefer to remain silent and not to clarify the loud accusations, surrounding the failed project with secrets.

Terms of agreement and what wasn’t in it

The agreement between the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Russia on the construction and operation of Upper Naryn cascade of hydroelectric power plants was signed by the Energy Ministers Avtandil Kalmambetov and Alexander Novak. Then it seemed that the project promises bright prospects to both parties. Nobody thought that someone would refuse to implement it.

First of all, the Russian side had to allocate money for the development of a feasibility study and 50 percent of the cost of the project.

Kyrgyzstan also contributed to the project in form of the right to use the land plots allocated for the construction of the cascade and other assets, including intangible ones — it has to exempt «Verkhnenarynskiye GES» CJSC from property tax and land tax within the investments payback period.

In addition, Kyrgyzstan was to hand over 25 percent of CJSC shares to the Russian side in trust management for investments payback period.

Experts believe that exactly these points forced Kyrgyzstan to denounce the agreement.

The most interesting thing is spelled out in Article 13, which says: «All disputes must be resolved through negotiations. If a dispute is not resolved within six months through negotiations, then it is subject to international arbitration.»

The Russian side has already announced its intention to sue Kyrgyzstan in order to recover the money spent.

If the agreement is terminated, Kyrgyzstan must compensate for the costs.

There is no mention of any international audit in the agreement, which the National Energy Holding insists on. And they want to spend $ 2 million on it.

How Kyrgyzstan was left without voting right

Kyrgyzstan had no voting right in «Verkhnenarynskiye GES» CJSC. The board of directors included two representatives from the Kyrgyz side and three from the Russian side. The chairman of the board of directors was elected on the recommendation of the Russian side.

The board also included only two representatives from Kyrgyzstan, and the chairman was nominated by Russia. Decisions of the board of directors and the management are made by a simple majority of votes. Consequently, Kyrgyzstan simply could not influence it.

Who failed the construction?

Many are tormented by the question — why Kyrgyzstan, which is still interested in building new facilities, voluntarily abandons the project, being aware that the money should be returned?

Difficulties in the project arose from the beginning of its implementation. In July 2014, the chairman of the board of «Verkhnenarynskiye GES» CJSC Igor Gorbenko wrote a letter to the then Minister of Energy Osmonbek Artykbayev that his deputy Aibek Kaliev hinders the construction.

The Russian side coordinated the list and quantity of construction equipment, however, Kyrgyzstan delayed an answer and asked for a detailed list. Talks were constantly postponed because of Kaliev’s business trips.

At present, Aibek Kaliev heads the National Energy Holding and oversees the process of negotiations on the return of $ 37 million to the Russian side. However, a deputy and representatives of the State Committee of Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use go to meetings in Moscow instead of him.

The chairman of the board of the Energy Holding himself refused to comment on the published letter to 24.kg news agency.

Scandalous squabbles with «Verkhnenarynskiye GES» CJSC

The companies that were involved in the construction also cast doubts. Proceedings between the contractors and the joint venture still continue.

«Verkhnenarynskiye GES» CJSC is trying to return more than 7.3 million soms, which were taken by Agram LLC. The general director of the company is Petr Andreevich Pavlov. The defendant does not attend court hearings.

By the way, Agram LLC is involved in about 30 disputes related to the failure or improper fulfillment of obligations under land transactions in Russia.

Chui Ecology Laboratory carried out an assessment of the impact of the Upper Naryn HPP cascade on the environment for $ 249,000, or 13, 450 million soms. The deputy commission has revealed that it belongs to an official Baibagyl Tolongutov. He headed the Center for State Regulation in the field of environmental protection and environmental safety of the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry.

Later, the agency spread a message that it allegedly carried out an official investigation, and the information of the parliamentary commission regarding their employee is not true.

But the information received by the commission says quite different. According to the documents, on July 2, 2014, Baibagyl Tolongutov becomes an absolute owner of LLC shares that is its full-fledged owner. Literally in 2 months, to be more exact, on September 12, 2014, there was held a tender for an environmental assessment, which was won by Chui Ecological Laboratory LLC!

By the way, Baibagyl Tolongutov became the head of the Center for State Regulation in the sphere of environmental protection and ecological safety as far back as in 2012.

Three days later — on September 15, 2014 — the company was completely re-registered to Bayan Alymbekova, but some Aizhamal Moldoshevna Usubalieva remains its managing director. Baibagyl Tolongutov has a patronymic name — Moldoshevich. At present, Akibaeva Minagul Keneshbekovna became the director of the laboratory.

Mysterious builders of cascade

24.kg news agency tried to get official information about those who built the cascade objects. Neither Electric Stations JSC, nor the State Committee for Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use, nor the National Energy Holding know who was the cascade contractors. And Kyrgyzstan has, we recall, to return the money.

The agreement on the construction of the Upper Naryn HPP cascade was signed by the governments of the countries.

Coordination of its implementation is carried out by the Ministry of Energy and Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.

They approved «Verkhnenarynskiye GES» CJSC with the distribution of shares in the authorized capital 50 to 50 between Electric Stations JSC and RusHydro. The company is entrusted with the implementation of the project.

The money was allocated by RusHydro. Consequently, Electric Stations will have to repay the debt, since the dispute arose between two economic entities.