Bishkek (AsiaNews/Agencies) – "We are witnessing a historic event," Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev (pictured) said as he inaugurated a Chinese-financed power transmission line (PTL) in the provincial town of Kemin.
“Everyone knows that electricity from the Toktogul dam passed through Uzbekistan. We paid millions US dollars for that,” the president said.
Now, "Thanks to Datka-Kemin PTL, Kyrgyzstan will annually save about -9 million," said today Bekbo Mamatbekov, head of the National Electric Network of Kyrgyzstan.
After the National Electric Network of Kyrgyzstan signed a contract with China's Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Company (TBEA) worth US$ 390 million, work on the Datka-Kemin project began in 2012.
“Previously, we needed the help of neighbouring countries for electrical power,” explained the president. This meant power transmission from south to north through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and the payment of transit fees.
According to President Atambayev, the energy sector used to have trouble during the winter period. Now, "After completion of future energy projects, Kyrgyzstan will not only meet the needs of the country, but it will also export electricity".
“The next step is to increase power generation; hence, the construction of the Upper Naryn cascade project, which will provide power and heating.”
Finally, “Thanks to partners and friends (like China), who give us long-term loans, we can undertake large-scale projects.” As “We stand before large projects and discoveries, I believe the country will grow and prosper,” the president said.