Kazakhstan says a huge power blackout that hit cities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on January was caused by an accident at the Syrdarya thermal power plant in Uzbekistan.

Kazakhstan's national electricity provider KEGOS says six power units disconnected at the Syrdarya thermal power plant in Uzbekistan disconnected on January 25 at 11:59 Nur-Sultan time due to short circuit, with a total generation loss of more than 1500 MW.  

The resulting power shortage in Uzbekistan’s power system has reportedly led to siphoning off electricity from Kazakhstan’s power system, connected to parallel operation with power systems of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.     

As a result, a power surge on the 500 kV 'North-East-South of Kazakhstan' transit power line occurred followed by reloading of it, KEGOS noted, adding that the accident is not related to the activities of mining farms.     

Recall, some sources noted that Central Asian countries have seen their grids burdened by a summer drought that affected hydropower capacity in Kyrgyzstan and by a boom in cryptocurrency mining in the region, especially in Kazakhstan.

As it had been earlier, power blackout hit Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on January 25 as a major power line in Kazakhstan was disconnected at 10:57 am.

The capitals of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan as well as Kazakhstan's economic hub Almaty suffered power cuts at around lunchtime local time, with media and officials reporting that the blackouts had extended far into the provinces of the three countries.  Areas of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were affected when a shared power line was disconnected.  It caused traffic jams, airport delays and other public transport disruptions across the nations.

Millions of people were left without electricity for hours.  Power was restored gradually.  The outage has once again raised concerns about how vulnerable the 1970s-built power line is.