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BISHKEK, December 18 (Itar-Tass) —— Kazakhstan has agreed to increase natural gas supplies to Kyrgyzstan, a spokesman for the Kyrgyz government told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
According to the spokesman, the agreement to this effect was reached on Tuesday during a telephone conversation between Kyrgyzstan’s Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev and his Kazakh counterpart Serik Akhmetov.
“Starting from December 19, KazTransGaz Co will increase gas supplies to a necessary level,” the spokesman said.
Kazakhstan halved its natural gas supplies to Kyrgyzstan from December 13 after a snap of cold that increased domestic consumption. Kyrgyzstan had to suspend gas supplies to industrial enterprises and private houses in Bishkek, which caused a sharp surge in electricity consumption. Many city districts have been cut off electricity supplies over a possible fault. Thousands of people have been left without gas and electricity in conditions of heavy frosts. As many as eight people died of exposure to cold over the past weekend alone.
In the mean time, according to the spokesman, Kyrgyzstan’s prime minister has ordered local energy companies to promptly replace failed equipment. He promised that Bishkek’s electricity plant would operate “in a regular mode” despite overload. “The plant has enough fuel oil and solid fuel to operate throughout the entire heating season,” he pledged.