On the occasion of the nation’s 28th Independence Day, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon inaugurated the second phase of Roghun Hydropower plant (HPP) on Monday, thereby adding additional 600 MW to the country’s existing power capacity.
The hydropower project — slated to be the tallest in the world upon its completion in 2028, with a height of 335 metres — has now achieved a capacity of 1,200 mega watt (MW), with the inauguration of its second phase. Once complete, the Roghun HPP will have an installed capacity of 3,600 MW.
With the launch the second phase of Roghun HPP, the dam has now achieved a height of 135 m and the total hydropower capacity of the country has reached nearly 6,000 MW.
Speaking after the launch of the power unit, Rahmon said, “Ensuring energy security is among the strategic objectives of the government and it will mobilise all resources and capacity it has to achieve this objective”.
He added that 12 public investment projects with total amount of TJS 16 billion ($1.65 billion) aimed at developing the energy sector are under implementation at present and TJS 7.2 bn ($743 million) has been absorbed within these projects so far.
The Central Asian country — with a population of around 9 million — faces energy deficiency during winters, and the fresh capacity addition is expected to not only take it forward in securing internal energy requirement but also help industrialisation of its economy.
“Development of the energy sector is key for sustainable economic growth of Tajikistan and particularly for achievement of our fourth national objective — expedited industrialisation of the country,” Rahmon said.
Government officials, while speaking to The Indian Express, said that once Tajikistan achieves energy surplus, it can push forward its objective of industrialisation. Currently, the country is an agriculture-driven economy.
In a press statement issued on Monday, the government said that after full commissioning of the Roghun power station, it will be possible to create dozens of small and large industrial enterprises and generate thousands of new jobs.
Besides, the surplus power will also be exported to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Tajikistan is surrounded by Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Electricity from the Roghun HPP is already being supplied to the electricity system of Tajikistan by the 500 kilo watt (KV) Roghun-Dushanbe power transmission line, which was commissioned on the day of the launch of the first station unit in November last year.
While the construction of Roghun dam was initiated on October 29, 2016, the first phase of the project with installed capacity of 600 MW was launched on November 16, 2018. Located on the Vakhsh river, Roghun HPP will be the largest hydropower project in the region, the government said in a statement. It also pointed that more than 25,000 workers, engineers and other technical personnel have worked on the project.
The Roghun HPP is planned to be used as a multi-purpose dam, including for generating electricity, regulating water, reducing the risk of floods and mitigating droughts. The renewable energy project — that gels with international efforts on green energy and combating climate change — is being built with the involvement of over 70 organisations from around the world including China and Russia. Italy’s Salini Impregilo is involved in the building of the highest dam.
The correspondent was in Dushanbe at the invitation of Government of Tajikistan