Drilling work has begun at the site of Kyrgyzstan's 1,900-MW Kambarata 1 hydropower plant, the country's Ministry of Energy and Industry reported.
The ministry said drilling will be conducted at three locations near the project site for engineering purposes. Work at the first has already been completed, while drilling at the second is under way and set to begin soon at the last.
About 10 miles of road essential for access to the construction site have also been repaired, according to the Kyrgyzstan government.
The project is being financed in large part by a US$2 billion Russian aid package that was announced in February 2009.
Construction of Karambata 1 began in 1986, but was halted when the Soviet Union collapsed. The plant found new life, however, when Electricite de France and PricewaterhouseCoopers of the United States were declared winning bidders in 2008 for an investment study to complete both Karambata 1 and its sister project, the 360-MW Kambarata 2.
HydroWorld.com reported the ministry was soliciting expressions of interest from consultants to conduct safety assessments for the project in September 2012.
Kambarata 1 and Kambarata 2 are two of five proposals for the Naryn River. Also included in the cascade are the 1,200-MW Toktogul, 800-MW Kurpsai, 450-MW Tash-Kumyr, 240-MW Shamaldy-Sai (or Shamaldy-Say), and 180-MW Uch-Kurgan.