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BAKU (Reuters) - The electricity supply in Azerbaijan was being gradually restored on Tuesday after a major blackout that left the former Soviet country with no power for several hours, the energy ministry said.

The massive outage was caused by an explosion at a hydropower station in the city of Mingacevir following an overload of the electrical system due to a very hot weather and use of air-conditioners.

BP said the blackout did not affect oil and gas production as the electricity system was switched to standalone generators.

Azeri state oil company SOCAR said the disruption did not affect offshore oil operations either, but caused "some temporary problems with onshore production."

"Power had been restored in many areas and at essential facilities like hospitals, military bases, the Baku subway, and the airport, by early morning," the APA.az news outlet reported, citing the energy ministry.

Azerbaijan plans to import electricity from Georgia and Russia, Yahya Babanli, a spokesman for Azerenergy, a state energy supply company, told the independent Real TV.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev ordered a government commission to be set up to identify reasons for the outage.

(Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Mark Potter)

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Reuters