A hydroelectric power plant which supplies 40% of Kyrgyzstan’s electricity has been rendered useless following a generator malfunction earlier this week, leaving the country’s five million people facing the prospect of winter blackouts and temperatures of -20C.
The Toktogul plant in the south of the country ground to a halt early on Tuesday morning when two generators were shut down by a technical glitch, plant technician Sergei Abdulkhairov said.
The malfunction will only serve to exacerbate the energy crisis in Kyrgyzstan, where electricity is already rationed over the winter months, and funding for upgrades to the country’s ageing energy infrastructure is scarce.
Electricity supplies nationwide will be reduced by around one-sixth during peak hours until repairs are completed, the state electricity utilities company said in a statement.
Mr Abdulkhairov said the generators, which had electrical and mechanical problems, may be back online later this week.