It is back to square one for Kyrgyzstan, as the Central Asian state strives to build a giant hydropower plant. Representatives of a little-known entity from the Czech Republic, which was the surprise winner of a tender last summer, acknowledged on September 18 that they do not have the money to proceed with the project.
Last July, the Kyrgyz government announced that the Czech company, Liglass Trading, had won the rights to a multimillion-dollar project to build and operate power plants on the country’s Upper Naryn cascade, along with several other smaller hydropower facilities.
The story that unfolded in the weeks that followed included unusual goings-on at a shell company in Nevada, a frantic flurry of trading on the US penny stocks market and calls for a parliamentary inquiry. Some in Kyrgyzstan believe there are shady financial machinations afoot, but the investors at the heart of the drama deny all accusations of wrongdoing.
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Nurjamal Djanibekova is a reporter based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.