Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan Blamed each other for the Blackout in the Region
"As a result of a major accident in the power grid of the Republic of Kazakhstan, there were power outages in Alma-Ata, Shimkent, Turkestan regions and adjacent areas,"- the statement said.
This led to a sudden change in voltage on 530 power lines coming from Kazakhstan, the Tashkent and Syr Darya thermal power plants triggered emergency protections, which caused them to shut down.
For its part, Kazakhstan reported that the emergency blackout was the fault of Uzbek and Kyrgyz power engineers. "Due to a significant emergency imbalance created by the power system of Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), there was a power surge on the transit power of 500 kV North - East - South Kazakhstan,"- the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC) said in a statement quoted by Tengri News.
This led to an "emergency transit separation" and power outage in the south of Kazakhstan. The system operator is taking measures to eliminate the accident.
The power outages the morning of January 25 affected three countries - Kazakhstan (southern regions, including Almaty and Taraz), Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek, Osh, and Issyk-Kul Oblast) and Uzbekistan (Tashkent, Fergana Valley, Syrdarya, Samarkand and other regions). These three countries have been connected by a single power system since Soviet times. Turkmenistan (pulled out in 2003) and Tajikistan (pulled out in 2009) were also formerly part of the unified energy system.
The Uzbek Housing and Utilities Ministry warned after the blackout that heating, water and sewage systems might not work, Gazeta.uz reported. In addition, all of the country's airports were temporarily grounded.
The Akimat (city administration) of Almaty said that due to the voltage drop the automatic frequency unloading systems on the substations were triggered and the work on their reconnection is being carried out.