Last system at Tajikistan’s Sangtuda power plant started up

The complete start-up of the fourth and final hydroelectric unit of the Sangtuda Hydroelectric Power Plant-1 took place on May 15. Running the hydroelectric power plant at full capacity will partially resolve Tajikistan's winter energy problems.

Tamaris Tokhiri

2009-05-21

TAJIKISTAN – The complete start-up of the fourth and final hydroelectric unit of Sangtuda Hydroelectric Power Plant-1 took place on May 15. Three days earlier, on May 12, the fourth system was placed on idle speed. Work at the construction site is now proceeding around the clock, and construction of the station's main turbine room and dam is also continuing.

The load on each of the construction workers at Sangtuda Hydroelectric Power Plant-1 has almost tripled, taking into account that part of the international group had already been transferred to the Rogunsk construction site.

The official ceremony marking the commissioning of the fourth Sangtuda-1 system is planned for August with both Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expected to attend.

Sangtuda Hydroelectric Power Plant-1 is being built on the River Vaksh, 120 kilometres south-west of Dushanbe. The full capacity of the hydroelectric power plant is 1670 MW. The projected height of the dam is 76 metres. Implementation of the joint Tajik-Russian project began in April 2005 and in January 2008 the first system produced electricity. The estimated cost of the project is almost US$500 million.

Running the hydroelectric power plant at full capacity will partially resolve Tajikistan's winter energy problems. In the last 15 years, Tajikistan has experienced a severe shortage of electricity during winter months while in the summertime it exports its surplus to neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan. In wintertime, there are rolling blackouts in all districts of the Tajik capital while in remote areas electricity is available only three to four hours a day.

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