Kyrgyzstan: Looking For Ways to Avoid Hydropower Debt
Authorities in Kyrgyzstan are hunting for an excuse not to pay back a Russian state energy company the $40 million or so it spent on building a hydroelectric power plant that never got completed.
That inevitably means that they will find one.
Last week, a commission led by member of parliament and former justice minister Almanbet Shykmamatov toured the abandoned complex serving the Upper Naryn hydro plants that Kyrgyzstan and Russia agreed to build in 2012.
If the commission is to be believed, there was plenty of funny business involved in tenders for the failed project, which was led by troubled energy giant RusHydro. Parliament in Kyrgyzstan last month voted to scrap the $727 million deal in addition to an even bigger deal for a separate hydro plant built by Moscow's Inter RAO company, citing lack of progress.
One nugget Shykmamatov’s commission has unearthed is that a company that performed the $250,000 environmental audit for the power plant — Chui Ecological Laboratory — was registered to the wife of an employee of the state environmental agency at the time it won the tender.
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