Construction of the Roghun hydropower plant will provide enough amount of electricity to eliminate electricity shortages in Tajikistan during wintertime, says the Updated Environmental and Social Assessment for Roghun Hydropower Project posted on the NBO Roghun Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC)’s official website. 

The document intended for consultations, in particular, notes that currently, energy supply in Tajikistan is seasonal:  in summer there is an excess of electricity, while there is an extensive shortage of electricity during wintertime. 

The document authors note that residents of rural and remote areas (approximately 70 percent of the population) suffer from extensive shortages of electricity during the winter the most.  

Currently, people living in rural areas receive electricity in limited quantities: several hours in the morning and several hours in the evening. 

The Roghun hydropower plant, currently under construction, has the potential to generate significant economic, social, and environmental benefits for Tajikistan and other countries in the Central Asia region if it develops in a financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable manner.

Once completed, the Roghun HPP Project will be critical in helping Tajikistan to meet its domestic energy demands, especially during wintertime, and to support neighboring countries through the export of surplus electricity.  In addition, as a reliable source of clean and affordable electricity, the Roghun HPP Project can contribute to decarbonization of the Central Asia region.

The Updated Assessment says construction of the reservoir powering the Roghun hydropower plant will be completed in 2029 and the water level in the reservoir will reach its maximum level in 2036. 

The Roghun HPP is one of the largest projects in the region that can become an important factor of development of Tajikistan and the Central Asian region as a whole.  It will contribute significantly to the country’s sustainable development by efficiently utilizing natural resources, including “green” energy.

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.

In his address to a joint meeting of both chambers of parliament, President Emomali Rahmon said on December 28 that the next unit of the Roghun hydropower plant is planned to be introduced into operation in 2025. 

To-date, spending on the construction of the Roghun hydropower plants has reportedly exceeded 40 billion somonis since 2008.

The hydropower plant is expected to have six turbines with combined capacity of 3600 MW. When complete, it is expected to produce 17.1 terawatt-hour (TWh) of electrical work per year.

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.

Tajikistan struggles with electricity rationing 30 years after independence, despite long-held dreams of becoming an energy export powerhouse.

Measures rationing electricity supplies are usually introduced in all regions of the country except Dushanbe, regional administrative centers and major cities of the country and they seek to curb the country's rising electricity consumption.  In addition to curbing rising consumption, the move also stems from a decline in the water level in the country's reservoirs powering the main hydroelectric power plants.