Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (KHNP) announced on Sept. 3 that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kyrgyz Republic of Central Asia on Sept. 2. to cooperate in the hydraulic sector.
This is the first time for the Kyrgyz Republic to sign an MOU with the Korean firm for hydroelectric projects. Under the agreement, KHNP and the Kyrgyz Republic will exchange manpower and information in the hydraulic sector. Also, they will cooperate in water power projects implemented by Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and the Kyrgyzstan government.
At the MOU signing ceremony held at the official residence of the deputy prime minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, KHNP President Cho Seok and Kyrgyz's Deputy Prime Minister Valery Dil discussed how to expand the cooperation in the hydro power sector after signing the agreement.
President Cho said, “KHNP has accumulated experience and expertise in hydroelectric power plant construction, maintenance and operation for the past 70 years. Based on these, we will make every effort to develop the water power industry in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Regarding this, Deputy Prime Minister Valery Dil responded, “We will fully support KHNP so the MOU can lead to the development of actual projects.” Before the MOU signing ceremony, President Cho met Asilbek Zhehenbekov, Chairman of the Parliament of Kyrgyz Republic, and Kubanychbek Turdubaev, Minister of Energy of the Kyrgyz Republic, to request the active cooperation for KHNP.
Previously, Almazbek Atambaev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, visited Korea in Nov. 2013 and asked President Park Geun-hye to expand cooperation in the hydraulic sector between the two countries at the summit meeting.
The Kyrgyz Republic is a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member state, which attained sovereignty as a nation-state only after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Although the country’s total hydroelectric power potential reaches 37,000 MW, it has currently developed only 3,000 MW. Accordingly, its growth potential in the water power sector is likely to be very high in the future.
In particular, most hydroelectric power plants of the country, including the Toktogul Hydroelectric Station with a capacity of 1,200 MW which makes it the largest power plant in Central Asia, are very obsolete since they have not been properly maintained after being constructed by the Soviet Union in the past. Therefore, there is urgent need to improve performance of them. Due to a chronic power shortage, even its capital, Bishkek, frequently suffers blackouts.