16 Oct 2023 18:34

Tajikistan, Russia discuss partnership in fuel and energy complex, including problems of Sangtuda 1 HPP

DUSHANBE. Oct 16 (Interfax) - Tajikistan's Minister of Energy and Water Resources Daler Juma held a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, the press center for Tajikistan's Energy Ministry said in a statement.

"During the meeting, they discussed bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, in particular regarding the provision of bilateral commitments on reliable operation of the Sangtuda 1 HPP and the provision of an indicative balance plan," the report said.

The meeting was held as part of the participation of Tajikistan's energy minister in Russian Energy Week in Moscow.

JSC Sangtuda HPP-1 - a joint venture between Russia and Tajikistan, was established on February 16, 2005 to complete the construction and further operation of the hydroelectric power plant on the Vakhsh River. The share of Russian companies in the authorized capital of the JSC is 75% minus 1 share, and the share of Tajikistan is 25% plus 1 share.

The first hydroelectric unit of the HPP was commissioned in January 2008. The ceremonial commissioning of the hydropower plant took place on July 31, 2009. Sangtuda HPP-1 was built with Russian government funds and funds of Russian energy companies within the framework of strategic cooperation with Tajikistan in the electric power sector. Russia's investments in the construction of the HPP amounted to more than 16 billion rubles.

In H1 of this year, the debt of Tajik energy holding company Barki Tojik to Sangtuda HPP-1 for electricity supply increased by 346.81 million somoni (2 billion 863 million rubles), and as of June 30, 2023, amounted to 2.71 billion somoni (22.37 billion rubles).

Sangtuda HPP-1 is Tajikistan's second largest hydropower plant by capacity and provides about 11% of the country's total electricity generation.

At the end of July, the Asia-Plus publication, citing the appeal of Alexander Shevnin, General Director of Sangtuda HPP-1, to Energy and Water Resources Minister Daler Juma, reported that operations at the HPP may stop due to the fault of Tajik authorities. "If this happens, there will be an acute shortage of electricity in the country as early as the future fall-winter season," the report said.

It was noted that the HPP will be forced to suspend its operation because the Energy Ministry has been postponing the extension of the term of authorization documents for operation for several months without explanation. In addition, the rate for electricity supplied by the plant to Barki Tojik for the second half of this year has not been approved.

In order to "avoid negative consequences", the head of the HPP asked that the above issue be resolved "as soon as possible".