Barki Tojik Power Holdings, the state-owned Tajikistan utility, has started to cut off electricity supply to some regions at night, in order to preserve water at the reservoir powering the Norak hydropower plant.

Nozirjon Yodgori, a spokesman for Barki Tojik, said that these electricity supply cut offs do not mean that electricity rationing has been introduced.

“Electricity supply is cut off only to areas where there are no strategic facilities,” he said.

According to Yodgori, the current water inflow rate in the Vakhsh River is 420-440 cubic metres per second, while operation of the Norak plant without using water from the reservoir requires a water inflow rate of 600-650 cubic metres per second.

Tajikistan usually introduces rationing of electricity supplies in all regions except Dushanbe, starting in October and lasting until April. The rationing results in the supply of electricity being reduced to 10-12 hours per day.

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