INTSUM: Privatization of the Kyrgyz Electricity Industry Likely to Hit Hardest the Poor

kyrg_water.jpg IWPR (Bishkek) 25 January 2008

Plans to privatize Kyrgyzstan’s electricity industry are under way, after President Bakiyev’s statement that the only way to bring more money into the sector is through privatization. He and his officials believe that Kyrgyzstan can become self-sufficient in energy as privatization would help with renovating derelict Soviet equipment and with the building of new plants. However, while those who support privatization as the only way of salvaging a loss-making industry, opponents say the privatization process has been anything but fair and transparent, expressing a low degree of trust in the way the government handles potential bids.


It is very likely that privatization of the electricity industry will continue rapidly, with several major investment deals likely to close by summer 2008. While Russia, and Gazprom in particular, are highly likely to be favored as investment partners, it is also likely that Kyrgyz authorities will be open to other bidders, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China, some Middle East countries, and possibly even the US.

As private investors move in, the prices for electricity and heating are very likely to increase by about 30%, which will have the most severe effects on the Kyrgyz poor, and especially on the retired segment of the population.

Source reliability: 8

Analytic Confidence: 8


2 Responses

  1. I posted my overall comments on your other blog site.

  2. Wonderful writing! Hope to visit soon.

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