, April 13, Asia-Plus - Anatoly Chubais, head of Russia ''s Unified Energy Systems (YeES), who arrived in Dushanbe yesterday afternoon joined Tajik Energy Minister Jurabek Nurmahmadov on the trip to the site for Sangtuda-1 hydropower plant.

Russian energy head familiarized himself with a progress of the construction of the station.      

Yesterday evening, Chubais also met with President Emomali Rahmonov.  In the course of the talks the two discussed a progress of the construction of Sangtuda-1 hydropower plant in Tajikistan and prospects of further expansion of energy cooperation between Tajikistan and Russia .   

Chubais told journalists following the meeting that the course of the construction of the station was not easy and they had some remarks.  However, the Russian energy head noted that the task on putting the station into operation by fixed date was practicable.  “The first generator should be put into operation in March next year,” said Chubais, “But for this, we have to dam the Vakhsh River in November this year.” 

Dwelling on the financing issues, Chubais noted that the Russian side had fulfilled its obligations ahead of schedule, remitting US$200 million.  “ Tajikistan has also fulfilled its obligations in accordance with schedule,” he said, noting that the Tajik government is providing support on all issues, including taxes and interaction on routine affairs.  

Asked about possible environmental impact, Chubais noted, “It mountain region, and areas of submerging are minimal therefore the Sangtuda station cannot cause any damage to ecology.”