Beijing, May 6 (AP) China is to invest up to $3billion in Kyrgzstan’s capital city in an ambitious energy project, an official said Thursday, the latest step in a major effort to boost the Asian giant’s energy dominance in Central Asia.
The Kyrgystan Electricity Corp., a state-run electricity company, is planning to invest more than $1 billion in the $3bn Kyrgyzan Power Hub project in the capital city of Yerevan.
Kyrgyz President Emek Kyrgymanbekov met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the end of May and announced the plans for the energy project in a state television broadcast, the state news agency Xinhua reported.
Krygyzistan is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer and second-largest natural gas producer.
China has been an important energy supplier for the Kyrgyzes, which are the largest exporter of natural gas in the world.
In 2016, China supplied about 15 percent of Kyrgyzn energy needs, according to the Kyrgz State Energy Development Corporation.
The $3-billion project is likely to generate a lot of jobs in the region, said Ekaterina Yaryanova, deputy head of the International Center for Strategic Studies.
“The energy is an important component in economic development,” she said.
“The Kyrgz will be able to provide the infrastructure, like transmission lines and the distribution system.”
Kyrgz President Emk Kyrgymans recent trip to China coincided with a summit between Xi Jinping, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
China and Russia are the two largest energy consumers in Central Asian nations, with each paying roughly $100 billion a year in subsidies and royalties for energy.
China has been the main customer for Kyrgyzh natural gas, but has also been increasingly looking to invest in energy infrastructure.
Kirgz President Ekhmonbek Akhmatova has repeatedly accused Beijing of meddling in Central American affairs, and has also called on Xi to take stronger action against Russia.