DUSHANBE, October 27, Asia-Plus -- President Rahmonov has pointed to the importance of hydropower resources as world reserves of other energy resources run low.  “World reserves of coal, oil and natural gas annually decrease and at present the use of hydropower resources is of great significance,” Rahmonov told the second regional electricity trade conference.  

The second Central Asia and South Asia electricity trade conference opened at the Tajik president’s out-of-town residence “Pugus” in Varzob today.  

Conference participants include high-ranking Tajik energy officials, Afghan Energy and Water Minister Muhammad Ismail Khan, Pakistani Minister of Energy and Water Resource Liaqat Ali Jatoi, Kyrgyz Minister of Industry, Trade ad Tourism Turatbek Zhunusaliyev, as well as representatives from the U.S. Government, international organizations and foreign companies.

Rahmonov told the conference that Tajikistan strives to not only meet its own electric power requirements but also those of the region and the world requirements in electric power.  “Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan do not have large reserves of oil and natural gas, but they are rich in reserves of hydropower resources,” said the head of state.  “Both countries consider these resources their national wealth and use them in the interest of their peoples.” 

According to him, Tajikistan has reserves of water and power resources in the amount of 527billion kWh.  At present the country is using only 3.2 percent of these reserves.  Rahmonov noted that Tajikistan plans to construct another four hydroelectric power stations (HPS) on the Vakhsh River, bringing the total number of HPSs on the river to nine, with a total capacity of 9,195 megawatt.  At present, five hydropower plants on the river annually generate 15 billion kWh of electricity.  

The president also noted that the work on completing the construction of the Roghun power plant will begin next year with use of the national funds.  The cost of the half-finished facility is US $804 million; a further US $2 billion is needed to complete the construction.  

The president stressed that when built the Sangtuda-1, Sangtuda-2 and Roghun power plants will annually generate a total of 31billion to 35 billion kWh of electricity.  The Shurob HPS, also to be built on the Vakhsh River, will have a capacity of 850 megawatts, he said.  The estimated budget for the project is US $980 million.  

Rahmonov also noted that at present feasibility studies for construction of 14 power plants on the Panj River with capacities ranging from 300 to 4,000 megawatts are now being conducted.  The largest will be the Dashtijum HPS with capacity of 4,000 megawatts.  The Dashtijum project costs US $3.2 billion, according to Rahmonov. Five additional power plants with a total capacity of 3,700 megawatts are planned for the Hingob River, four others with a total capacity of 2,050 megawatts on the Surkhob River, six totaling 640 megawatts on the Zarafshon Rive and four others totaling 810 megawatts on the Fondaryo River.  Also, 17 small power plants are expected to have been constructed in Tajikistan by 2010.  

The president also noted that Pakistan intends to annually import some 30 billion kWh from Central Asia.  In this connection, Rahmonov pointed to the significance of the construction of electric main South-North in Tajikistan and power-transmission line from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.