Europe / Caspian / CIS

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Summary | Profile

Country profile: Kyrgyzstan

Location: Central Asia, west of China ,0
Climate: dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
Terrain: peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation
Size: 198500 sq. km total (Land area: 191300 sq. km  Water area: 7200
Population: 5,356,869 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Kyrgyz 64.7% (official), Uzbek 13.6%, Russian 12.5% (official), Dungun 1%, other 8.2% (1999 census)
Government: republic
Capital city: Bishkek
Legal system: based on French and Russian laws; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: som (KGS)

Country profile


Central Asia is loosely defined as including the countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan. The energy sectors of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are covered briefly in the Caspian Sea Region Brief, but this report discusses these two countries’ growing energy sectors in greater detail.

Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan sit on large reserves of oil and natural gas, yet both countries face a myriad of challenges in bringing those reserves to world markets. Both countries are geographically far from the end-use markets they serve and lack sufficient pipeline infrastructure to export more hydrocarbons. Also, other hydrocarbon-rich Central Asian and Caspian states with more favourable investment climates and greater access to markets pose competition for Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Both countries are eager to diversify export routes for their resources outside of the Russian-controlled pipelines, but each must seek to obtain capital, technical assistance, and political support for alternative pipelines.

The most recent political shift in the region, the death of former President Saparmurat Niyazov (also referred to as Turkmenbashi) in December 2006 and the election of Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in early 2007 have sparked new interest and hope for a stable environment for foreign investors in Turkmenistan’s oil and gas sector. Turkmenistan’s new leadership is renewing diplomatic relations with Russia, China, Europe, the US, and other Central Asian neighbours after 15 years of isolation. Foreign energy firms experienced extreme political challenges and investment impasses during Niyazov’s era, and several exited the country leaving a dearth of investment. Since Berdymukhammedov became president, there have been modest signs of a more business-friendly environment, and international competition for Turkmenistan’s hydrocarbon industry has intensified. Please consult the U.S. Department of State for more information on the political and economic situations of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Energy production and consumption

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Kyrgyzstan - recent news

11 Jan 23
Kyrgyzstan: Masdar signs agreement to develop clean energy projects in Kyrgyzstan with 1 GW capacity
Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, has signed an agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Energy to develop a pipeline of renewable projects in the Central Asian nation, with a capacity of up to 1 gigawatt (GW), starting with a 200-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant.

Kyrgyzstan - more news

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