Roghun HPP accounts for almost 10% of the overall volume of electricity generated by Tajikistan

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The Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP) reportedly accounts for almost ten percent of the overall volume of electricity generated by Tajikistan.

According to data from Barqi Tojik (Tajikistan’s national power utility company), two of six units of Roghun hydropower plant, which were introduced into operation in November 2018 and September 2019, are currently operating at low power.

Over the first six months of this year, these units have reportedly generated a total of about 910 million kWh of electricity, which is 53 percent more than the volume of electricity generated by the Sangtuda-2 HPP (430 million kWh) and 30 percent fewer than the volume of electricity generated by the Sangtuda-1 HPP (1.292 billion kWh) over the same six-month period.

According to date from the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan (MoEWR), Tajikistan has generated a total of 10.4 billion kWh of electricity over the reporting period, which is 3.4 percent more than in January-June last year.

Barqi Tojik now owes 786 million somonis (equivalent to more than 75 million U.S. dollars) for electricity generated by the Roghun HPP.

According to the preliminary estimates, US$5 billion are needed for completion of the construction of the Roghun hydropower plant, but the cost of such large and long-term projects may change over the years.

When the Roghun project was launched in 2008, its cost was estimated at US$3 billion. Then in 2016, it was announced during the international tender that the cost of the project is US$3.9.

Now, according to data from a MoEWR, US$5 billion are needed for completion of the construction of the plant. The ministry has explained the increase in the cost of the project by reassessing the cost of some works carried out at the Roghun site, inflation and the decrease in the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar.

The Roghun HPP is an embankment dam in the stages of construction on the Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan. It is one of the planned hydroelectric power plants of Vakhsh Cascade.

The Roghun HPP 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.

An agreement on finishing the construction was signed between Tajikistan and Russia in 1994; however, 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 fulfill the contract.

In April 2008, Tajikistan founded OJSC NBO Roghun for completing the construction of the Roghun HPP.

To raise funds to complete construction of the Roghun HPP the government started to sell shares in Roghun to people on January 6, 2010. Tajikistan has reportedly issued 6 billion somonis worth of Roghun shares.

In 2016, construction duties on Roghun were assigned to Italian company Salini Impregilo (currently Webuild).

The project is broken down into four components, with the most expensive one involving the building of a 335-meter-high clay core rockfill dam — the tallest in the world — which will entail costs of around $1.95 billion. Construction of the Roghun hydropower plant is expected to be completed in 2033.

Two of the six turbines have already started producing energy for sale to raise funding to complete it. The first turbine went into service in November 2018 and the second one was introduced into operation in September 2019.

According to data from the Ministry of Finance of Tajikistan (MoF), 37.7 billion somonis have been spent for construction of this hydropower plant since 2008.

If built as planned, the Roghun hydropower plant is expected to end chronic power shortages in Tajikistan and allow it to export electricity to neighboring countries.

Source: Asia-Plus