EDB considering allocating resources to Tajikistan’s Rogun hydropower mega project

EDB considering allocating resources to Tajikistan’s Rogun hydropower mega project
The Rogun dam and hydroelectric plant are being constructed in southwestern Tajikistan, on the Vakhsh River upstream from the Nurek Dam.
By bne IntelliNews November 21, 2023

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) would like to be able to allocate resources to Tajikistan’s multi-billion-dollar Rogun hydropower mega project but whether it will do so is not yet decided, according to comments from Nikolai Podguzov, chairman of the multilateral lender’s board.

Podguzov was reported by Asia-Plus on November 20 as saying that the EDB was participating in the World Bank-coordinated committee of international donors, set up to discuss issues of financial support for the 3,600-megawatt Rogun project, which would include the world’s tallest dam.

“We are participating in these discussions, and we would like to be able to allocate resources for Rogun,” Podguzov was quoted as saying in Almaty, Kazakhstan, at a press conference that took place following the presentation of an EDB study, “Efficient Irrigation and Water Conservation in Central Asia.”

However, Podguzov was said to have noted, it was still difficult to say how the discussions on Rogun resources would develop.

“We understand the importance of participating in this project, I hope that it will work out,” he added.

In mid-August of this year, the Tajikistan’s finance ministry said that direct negotiations between the government and potential investors in Rogun would begin before the end of the year.

The project has already attracted a preferential loan from the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in the amount of $500mn, while the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank intends to increase its volume of Rogun financing to $250mn from a previously announced $150mn.

Also, at the end of October, the Saudi Development Fund announced its readiness to provide a $100mn loan to the project.

Since the beginning of this year, more than Tajikistani somoni (TJS) 3bn ($275mn) have been allocated by Tajikistan’s government for the completion of Rogun. A total of TJS 2.6bn came from the state budget and TJS 427mn from the proceeds of the sale of electricity produced by Rogun’s existing two units. 

Since construction work commenced in earnest in 2008, more than TJS 35bn ($3.2bn) in state budget funds have been allocated to the project.

The annual volume of electricity generation from Rogun—which is to have six 600-MW turbines—after full completion and commissioning will be from 13bn to 17bn kilowatt-hours. This would be equivalent to approximately 65%-85% of the current annual electricity generation achieved by all operating facilities in the country.

Full completion of Rogun is expected by 2033 under current plans.