Energy blockade reportedly costs Sangtudinskaya GES-1 at US$20 mln
July 30, 2010 - Payrav Chorshanbiyev
Energy isolation of Tajikistan that has resulted from Uzbekistan’s withdrawal from the Central Asian unified power grid has cost open joint-stock company, Sangtudinskaya GES-1, which operates the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant (HPP), at some 20 million U.S. dollars.
The Sangtudinskaya GES-1 director general Vladimir Belov remarked this during a meeting with reporters in Dushanbe on July 30. He noted the station had been forced to discharge abundant water during the summer period due to the blockade. “Because of this, the Sangtuda-1 HPP has failed to generate another some one billion kWh of electricity,” said Belov, “We planned to export this electricity via Uzbek power systems to southern Kazakhstan, which experiences power shortages. Representatives from Inter RAO YeES conducted negotiations on this subject with Uzbek authorities; however, our potential partners did not display readiness for constructive cooperation.”
We will recall that Uzbekistan ended its participation in the Soviet-era electric power grid at the end of last year that automatically cut off Tajikistan’s electric power system from the Central Asian unified power grid.
Belov also noted that because of Uzbekistan’s blockade of rail traffic bound for Tajikistan freight cars loaded with cargo for the company had been held up on Uzbek territory for several months. “However, losses caused by the rail blockade were not so considerable compared to those caused by the energy blockade,” he said.
The Sangtudinskaya GES-1 top manager expressed hope that power transmission lines linking Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan will be constructed in one or two years and conditions for export of electricity from Tajikistan will improve.
Belov added that the Sungtuda-1 HPP planned to generate 500-550 million kWh of electricity in the upcoming winter. The station generated the same amount of electricity in the past winter as well.
“As of July 1, 2010, Sangtudinskaya GES-1 supplied 3,615.94 million kWh of electricity for more than 247 million somoni to Barqi Tojik power holding, and Tajik electricity supplier now owes 124 million somoni to Sangtudinskaya GES-1,” Belov said, noting that the Sangtuda-1 station now accounts for 15 percent of the overall amount of electricity generated in Tajikistan. The station has generated more than 3.7286 billion kWh of electricity since January 2008.
Russian-Tajik OJSC Sangtudinskaya GES-1 was established to complete the construction of the Santuda-1 power plant. Russia’s Inter RAO YeES and the Ministry of Energy and Industries of Tajikistan signed an agreement on the establishment of the company in Dushanbe on February 16, 2005. Tajikistan owns 15.97 percent of the shares and a number of Russian companies assume the 84.03% ownership interest in Sangtudinskaya GES-1.
President Emomali Rahmon and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev officially unveiled the fourth and last unit of the Sangtuda-1 HPP on July 31, 2009.
The construction of the Sangtuda-1 hydropower plant located some 110 kilometers southeast of Dushanbe began in the late 1980s. By the early 1990s, only 20% of the construction work had been completed, and further construction was suspended due to a civil war that broke out in Tajikistan in the early 1990s. The talks between Russia and Tajikistan on completing the construction of the Sangtuda-1 HPP began in 2003 and in 2004 the parties signed an inter-governmental agreement. The station has an estimated capacity of 670 MW.
Russia reportedly invested more than 16 billion Russian rubles in the construction of the Sangtuda-1 station.