Central Asia suffers large-scale blackout
Central Asia was hit by a large-scale blackout for several hours on January 25, leaving millions without power, although the reasons for the outage are unclear. Uzbekistan has attributed the outage to an accident in Kazakhstan's power system, while Kazakhstan has said the failure occurred in the Kyrgyz and Uzbek systems.
"As a result of a major accident in the power grids of the Republic of Kazakhstan, there was a power outage in the cities of Almaty, Shymkent, Taras, Turkestan and adjacent areas," Uzbekistan's energy ministry said on its Telegram channel. "The Uzbek power grid, which is connected to the Unified Power Grid, was damaged as a result of an accident that led to sudden changes in voltage and frequency on 530 lines from Kazakhstan."
Kyrgyzstan's energy ministry told AFP that the blackout was "due to an accident in the regional energy grid."
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan's state power transmission operator KEGOC said in a statement that "due to a significant emergency imbalance created by the energy system of Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), there was a surge in power for the transit of electricity via the 500-kV North-East-South Kazakhstan [line]."
Kazakhstan has seen a boom in energy-intensive crypto-mining after the activity was declared illegal in neighbouring China late last year, and this has placed a burden on the country's power system. A day before the power outage, though, Kazakhstan cut companies mining cryptocurrencies from electricity supply, KEGOC told Bloomberg, and they are not due to regain access until January 31.