During last year, the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption detected untargeted use of 124.5 million somonis at the site for construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP), the anticorruption chief Sulaimon Sultonzoda told reporters in Dushanbe on February 16.  

“Almost the whole amount of the embezzled funds has been reimbursed,” said Sultonzoda.  “Criminal proceedings have been instituted Tohir Saidzoda, the top manager of Faizi Istiqlol-25 Company, which is one of contractors for the construction of the Roghun HPP.  He is charged with embezzlement of 2.8 million somonis of state funds.”  

According to him, Tohir Saidzoda has been taken into custody. 

Sultonzoda further noted that the anticorruption agency last year detected embezzlement of 818,000 somonis of funds provided to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.  

The Roghun HPP is an embankment dam in the preliminary stages of construction on the Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan.  It is one of the planned hydroelectric power plants of Vakhsh Cascade.

The Roghun HPP was first proposed in 1959 and a technical scheme was developed by 1965.  Construction began in 1976 but the project was frozen after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

An agreement on finishing the construction was signed between Tajikistan and Russia in 1994; however, as the agreement was not implemented, it was denounced by Tajikistan parliament.

In October 2004, Tajikistan signed an agreement with Russia's RusAl aluminum company, according to which RusAl agreed to complete the Roghun facility and rebuild the Tursunzoda aluminum smelter.  In August 2007, Tajikistan formally revoked a contract with RusAl, accusing it of failing to fulfill the contract.

In 2016, construction duties on Roghun were assigned to Italian company Salini Impregilo.  It is estimated that the project will cost $3.9 billion to complete.

Tajikistan stemmed the flow of the Vakhsh River for construction of the Roghun HPP mega-dam in late October 2016.

The project is broken down into four components, with the most expensive one involving the building of a 335-meter-high rockfill dam — the tallest in the world — which will entail costs of around $1.95 billion.  Construction of the Roghun hydropower plant is expected to be completed in 2033.

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.