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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tajikistan Returns to Rationing Electricity

Electricity rationing is returning to Tajikistan, with cuts nationwide every night from 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m., except in the capital and district centers, the head of the national power company said Tuesday.

Sharifkhon Samiyev said the rationing was because of low water levels at key hydroelectric dams.

"This restriction is caused by the lack of water this year. All is being done to save water, and that means, power for the winter," said Nozir Edgori, a spokesman for the state-run energy company, Barki Tochik, Interfax reported.

Central Asia's poorest country was crippled last winter by shortages amid some of the coldest weather in a quarter century. The country has increasingly turned to Russia to support its decrepit electricity infrastructure.

President Emomali Rakhmon earlier this year asked Tajiks to go without some of their salaries to help build a dam.

The limits are not expected to affect Talco, the state-owned aluminum smelter, a spokeswoman said, Interfax reported.

"We operate 24/7, and to be left without electricity would be fatal for our metallurgy," Sayekhat Kadyrova said.

Talco consumes 18 million to 22 million kilowatt-hours of the 60 million kwh produced daily in Tajikistan, she said.

Edgori said Tajik Cement, which produces cement for the construction of the Sangtuda hydroelectric dam, also would not be affected by the limits. AP, MT