Kazakh PM Briefs President on Investigation of Power Outage Causes

ASTANA – Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov briefed President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on the results of the investigation into the causes of a power outage on July 3 at the Mangystau atomic energy complex and the Atyrau oil refinery at a meeting on July 13, according to the Akorda press service.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev meets Alikhan Smailov. Photo credit: Akorda.

The investigation into the emergency shutdown, considered by the state commission at a meeting on the same day, testified to the shortcomings in forecasting the balance and planning of repair schemes in the western power grid.

Vice Energy Minister Zhandos Nurmaganbetov reported that the project to power up the electrical network of the western zone of Kazakhstan’s electric power system was delayed.

Noting a high accident rate of power stations in the Atyrau and Mangystau regions, Nurmaganbetov highlighted that the energy complex equipment was completely worn out.

State Commission considers the investigative process into the emergency shutdown. Photo credit: primeminister.kz.

The government has questions regarding the operation of a new combined-cycle thermal power plant of the Karabatan utility solutions enterprise. The minister said the Atyrau refinery also has serious flaws in the scheme of external power supply.

At the meeting with President Tokayev, Smailov noted that an expanded analysis of the power grid in western Kazakhstan revealed systemic failures in the work of energy providers and defects in the work of the Energy Ministry, the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), the Mangystau atomic energy complex and KazMunayGas (KMG) national oil and gas company.

The Prime Minister said KMG Chairman Magzum Mirzagaliyev would be reprimanded for the belated response to ensure the refinery’s safe and stable operation. He added that Nurmaganbetov would also receive a reprimand for the failure to supervise the security of the western power generation system.

Smailov said that administrative measures would be taken against a number of managers and officials of the Mangystau atomic energy complex, the Atyrau oil refinery and KEGOC.

To prevent such situations in the future, the government will take measures to modernize and reconstruct the Mangystau atomic energy complex, amplifying the western energy zone, providing the Atyrau oil refinery with a stable external power supply and constructing its own energy source at the site, connecting the western zone with Kazakhstan’s electric power system.

Regarding the water shortage in the southern regions, Smailov said that the government and local executive bodies are prioritizing providing irrigation water to crops and applying water rotation.

The Prime Minister noted that work has been enhanced to introduce water-saving technologies and reconstruct hydraulic structures to reduce water losses in canals and increase accumulations.

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