November 19, 2009
Press-Release: United Power System of the Central Asia - vestige of the unitary state
Only by these words it is possible to characterize the existence as it stands of United Power System (UPS) of the Central Asia. The recent decision of Uzbekistan to exit from the UPS is in the center of attention of various foreign mass media. However it is noteworthy that many comments about it have superficial nature, ascertain all the known facts and reasoning, and the more importantly, practically do not reflect the valid state of affairs.

It is necessary to remind that the existing UPS has been created in strict conformity with the logic of development of the former USSR, i.e. the unitary state in which the former union republics had no independence and were considered only as a part of the general territory.

The main issues related to financing, planning and development of power systems on the territory of union republics were directed to the single centre through a Department of Energy of the USSR. Thus practical functioning of UPS was completely provided at the expense and out of the funds of Soviet Department of Energy.

The situation has radically changed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its United power system, when the Central Asian states were left to face these problems.

It is necessary to admit that further functioning of UPS of Central Asia during the Post-Soviet period was kept on the mere words, none of the decision-making powers and the rights were left, and the system became so vulnerable that some of its members could uncontrollably take away electric energy for the sake of the own interests. It went so far that during the extreme conditions, especially during the winter periods, it led to serious conflict situations in a power system.

In such conditions the work of UPS started having serious glitches and negative impact from neighboring countries. As an example of such situation one could recall January - March, 2009 when Kazakhstan had to suspend its membership in UPS.

Recently, system failure, that occured early in the morning of November 9, 2009 on Nurek Hydroelectric Power Station (HPS) led to a spontaneous termination of energy units, with the southern part of the Tadjik power supply system “black out” and automatic suspension of all HPS of Tajikistan on Vakhsh river, including recently constructed Sangtuda HPS which has been completely disconnected.

According to the experts, failure occured due to the roughest infringement of technological modes and procedures when sharply increased consumption volumes during the morning peak-hours, in the existence of reserve capacities the generation volume was considerably below requirements of system.

In such a circumsctance neither automatic emergency was turned on disconnecting excessive number of consumers nor the the dispatching services reacted properly though they immediately manage such kind of processes should the emergency take place.

Unfortunately, this failure has also affected a power supply system of Uzbekistan. Its result was emergency switch-off on the main transmission line in the Surkhandarya province of the Uzbek Power Supply System.

This kind of situation leads to two indisputable conclusions:

First, today ensuring the activity of Central Asian UPS and \"The Energy\" system, the appearance of which corresponded to conditions of the former unitary state - USSR, without appropriate leislation and obligations is impossible. Moreover, systematic infringements and illegal consumption of electric power poses serious threat to the stable and reliable work of national power supply systems.

Second, in the future all the issues pertaining to the coordination of the functioning of national power supply systems should be solved appropriately, based upon bilateral and multilateral agreements among the Central Asian states and in accordance with the international practice.


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