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Tajikistan’s Rogun Hydroelectric Power Plant Offers Share Sale, Raises Capital to Finish Dam Project

According to Tajik Ministry of Finance over US$186 million was transferred to the accounts of the Rogun hydroelectric power plant project through the sale of stocks and shares certificates of OJSC Rogun as well as financial donations, reports.

The shares of construction company with total value of US$1.37 billion were issued on January 6, 2010. US$3.2 billion is required for the project achievement.

Construction on the Rogun Dam began back in 1976, and continued in starts and stops for the past 30 years. In 2004, the Tajik government formed a partnership with Russia’s Rusal to complete the project. Despite Rusal’s US$2 billion commitment to the project, Tajikistan authorities had canceled their contract in 2007.

Both sides disagreed on multiple regional considerations, notably the appropriate height of the dam. Russia had argued that the dam should be shorter than originally planned, due to seismic activity in the region, but Tajikistan insisted that the dam should reach a height of 1.099 feet (335 meters). Since the cancellation of the contract, Tajikistan had struggling to find investors to complete financing for the US$3.2 billion project.

At the beginning of December 2009, the government ordered that every family in the country would be required to pay US$690 to finance the completion of Rogun dam, while the average Tajik salary is only US$60 per month.

Earlier, the experts indicated the voluntary-compulsory nature of stocks promotion. The mass media reported the unofficial competition between the regional authorities on higher sales of the Rogun stocks. Some sources reported that even the students were forced to buy stocks in order pass the exams.

The purchase of the Rogun hydropower plant shares by the population became the reason of undermined food security in Tajikistan, monitoring report of UN World Food Program for Tajikistan, based on data, supplied by Rapid evaluation and coordination group under the Emergency Control Ministry said late April.

The deterioration of the food security in Tajikistan has been observed in the last three months and, in the opinion of authors of report, one of the reasons of such situation, especially in the rural area, is the purchase of the Rogun hydroelectric power plant stocks by the population. The report also indicates that over one third of Tajikistan’s population is affected by the downturn of the food security.

Tajikistan has some of the greatest hydroelectric power potential, largely untapped. The country has tapped only three percent of its hydroelectric capacity, which is estimated to be 527 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually.

Tajikistan currently generates approximately 16.5 billion kWh of electricity per year. Most of that is generated by the huge Nurek Dam, which was constructed from 1961-1980. It contains nine generating units each with a capacity of 300MW for a total capacity of 2.700MW. The reservoir behind the dam covers a surface area of 98 square kilometers.

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