One million people left in cold for days in the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, at -27 C

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Offices and public buildings were closed and schools and universities cancelled classes. The patients of the Vascular Surgery Unit of the National Hospital also complained about low temperature.  15 homeless people are reported to have died of the cold. The cause of the breakdown has not been found so far. Representatives of  Bishkek Heating and Power Plant promised to resume the supply of heat to houses but the exact time of elimination of the failure was not known.

Bishkek-in-winter
Bishkek in winter

This is a modernized plant.  Work to modernize the plant commenced in 2014, following a 2013 loan agreement between China’s Export-Import Bank and the Kyrgyz government. A Chinese company, Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co. Ltd. (TBEA), was granted the contract and modernized the plant for $386 million. Kyrgyzstan has until 2033 to repay the loan. The Chinese company was a target for anger but fail occurred in a part of the plant that was not covered by the modernization initiative. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sapar Isakov apologized to Bishkek residents for the situation. People in Bishkek criticized authorities for this contract even after heating resumed.

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