After major blackout in Azerbaijan is Baku’s bid for EXPO2025 still on?

A massive blackout hit Azerbaijan and affected most of the cities including the capital, Baku, the EXPO 2025 candidate, on Tuesday. The blackout reportedly became the worst power cut since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The accident was investigated under personal control of President Ilham Aliiyev at a power plant in Mingechavir that caused the blackout, according to officials. The Emergencies Ministry said the breakdown of a transformer in Mingechavir initiated a fire that was put out in 20 minutes. No deaths were reported, though.

Among the extra reasons of the power outage is the extreme hot weather in the Caspian region with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) that caused power consumption to spike.

Officials said power was restored in Baku after several hours, but a number of subway stations in the capital remained closed for a while. Furthermore, on Tuesday evening, Baku and other regions suffered a second blackout.

Due to extremely dynamic economic and urban development of Azerbaijan such accidents are uncommon for the Caspian country. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union Baku has demonstrated fantastic development and became an attractive destination both for tourists and investors from all over the world. However, many experts believe that Baku’s victory to host EXPO2025 is most unlikely. For instance, Urso Chappell, the founder of digital ExpoMuseum said the city is perfectly designed for hosting national or regional events, but still lacks some key components of a smart city, e.g. automation systems, energy and water efficiency and others.