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Rahmon’s Visit of Roghun Dam Construction Site

The tallest in the world at 335 meters

Tuesday 9 May 2017, by Nazar TAMASHEVSKA

President Emomali Rahmon today visited the site for construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP) in order to get acquainted with the pace of construction works, according to the Tajik president’s official website. About 75% of the concrete structure is poured and the installation of two generators is under way, the website said.

When finished, the dam will be the tallest in the world at 335 meters and have a capacity of 3.6 GW (compare to the 2 GW of Hoover Dam).

In 2016, the construction of Roghun was assigned to the Italian company Salini Impregilo for an estimated cost of $3.9 bln. The project is broken down into four components, with the most expensive one involving the building of a 335-meter-high rockfill dam — the tallest in the world — which will cost some $1.95 bln. According to Salini Impregilo, two of the six turbines will start producing energy for sale by 2018 to raise funding to complete it. The first turbine is expected to go into service in August 2018, followed by the second one in October of the same year.

In April 2008, Tajikistan founded OJSC NBO Roghun with an authorized capital of 116 mln somoni for completing the construction of the Roghun HPP. Current authorized capital of OJSC NBO Roghun reportedly amounts to more than 12 bln somoni. To raise funds, the government sold shares in Roghun to public on by issuing 6 bbln somoni shares.

Roghun HPP is an embankment dam in the preliminary stages of construction on the Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan. It is one of the planned hydroelectric power plants of Vakhsh Cascade. Over three decades only preliminary construction has been carried out on the dam. Due to its controversial state, construction was suspended in August 2012 pending World Bank reports. The dam has drawn complaints from neighbour Uzbekistan, which fears it will negatively impact its lucrative cotton crops. The dispute over the project has contributed significantly to bitter relations between the two countries.

However, the history of the dam is old and go back to the Soviet era. It was first proposed in 1959 and a technical scheme was developed by 1965. Construction began in 1976; but the project was frozen after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Later, an agreement on finishing the construction was signed between Tajikistan and Russia in 1994;yet, as the agreement was not implemented, it was denounced by Tajikistan parliament. In October 2004, Tajikistan signed an agreement with Russia’s RusAl aluminum company, according to which RusAl agreed to complete the Roghun facility and rebuild the Tursunzoda aluminum smelter. In August 2007, Tajikistan formally revoked a contract with RusAl, accusing it of failing to fulfil the contract.

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