DUSHANBE, March 9, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Iran’s transport plane carrying equipment for the Sangtuda-2 hydroelectric power plant (HPP) landed at the Dushanbe airport Wednesday afternoon.

Abbas Bayani, Counselor for Economic Affairs, Iranian Embassy in Dushanbe, told Asia-Plus today the air shipments of the equipment is connected with a rapid pace of construction of the station and the outdoor switchgears at the station are scheduled to be put into operation already next month.

It is to be noted that it is already the second air shipment of the equipment for the Sangtuda-2 HPP.  We will recall that 75 tons of mainly electronic equipment to be used in the construction of the Sangtuda-2 HPP were flown into Dushanbe from Iran on December 27, 2010.

“One more air shipment of the equipment for the Sangtuda2 station will be conducted until the end of this moth,” Mr. Bayani noted.

We will recall that Iranian Ambassador to Tajikistan Ali Asghar Sherdoust told reporters on December 27, 2010 that the air shipments of the equipment are the only way to avoid postponing the completion of the project.  He added that Iran had difficulty in 2010 transporting construction materials and equipment for Sangtuda-2 through Uzbekistan.

Last year, some 2,000 freight cars with construction materials bound for Tajikistan were stranded on Uzbek territory.  At least 20 cargo cars were sent by Iran for Sangtuda-2.  Iran warned Uzbekistan that if the blockage continued Tehran will reserve the right to block Uzbek railroad cars that are transiting Iranian territory and the deadlock was then resolved.

At the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in Istanbul in December 2010, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Tajik President promised that the first turbine at Sangtuda-2 will begin producing electricity in 2011.

Construction of Sangtuda-2, a 220-megawatt plant on the Vakhsh River, officially commenced in February 2006.  It is located some 100 kilometers south of Dushanbe.  Iran has invested US$180 million and Tajikistan US$40 million in the project.  Once the power station is built, all the revenue over the next 12.5 years will go to the investor and Tajikistan will become the owner of Sangtuda-2 after this period expires.