Rogun Dam

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Rogun Dam
Rogun Dam is located in Tajikistan
Rogun Dam
Location of Rogun Dam in Tajikistan
Location southern Tajikistan
Coordinates 38°40′59″N 69°46′19″E / 38.68306°N 69.77194°E / 38.68306; 69.77194Coordinates: 38°40′59″N 69°46′19″E / 38.68306°N 69.77194°E / 38.68306; 69.77194
Status Under construction
Construction began 1976 (1976)
Opening date 2018 (Expected)
Construction cost US$2–5billion
Owner(s) Government of Tajikistan
Dam and spillways
Impounds Vakhsh River
Height 265–335 metres (869–1,099 ft)
Total capacity 13.3 km3 (10,782,485 acre·ft)
Surface area 110.7 km2 (27,400 acres)
Power station
Turbines 6 x 600 MW
Installed capacity 3,600 MW (planned)
Annual generation 13.1 TWh (planned)

Rogun Dam is an embankment dam under construction on the Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan. It is one of the planned hydroelectric power plants of Vakhsh Cascade. Over three decades only preliminary construction has been carried out on the dam. Due to its controversial state, construction was suspended in August 2012 pending World Bank reports, but has since then resumed. The dam has drawn complaints from neighbor Uzbekistan, which fears it will negatively impact its lucrative cotton crops. The dispute over the project has contributed significantly to bitter relations between the two former Soviet republics.


The Rogun Dam was first proposed in 1959 and a technical scheme was developed by 1965.[1] Construction began in 1976, however the project was frozen after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[2] An agreement on finishing the construction was signed between Tajikistan and Russia in 1994; however, as the agreement was not implemented, it was denounced by Tajikistan parliament.[3] In October 2004, an agreement was signed with RUSAL according to which RUSAL agreed to complete the Rogun facility, to build a new aluminum plant and to rebuild the Tursunzade Aluminum Smelter.[4] In February 2007, a new partnership between Russia and Tajikistan to complete the dam was announced but later was refused by Russia because of disagreements concerning the controlling stake in the project.[2][4] In May 2008, Tajikistan announced that construction on the dam had resumed.[5] By December 2010, one of the river diversion tunnels was renovated and rebuilt and the second expected to commence in June or July 2011.[6] Construction on the dam was suspended in August 2012 pending the World Bank assessment.[7]

In 2010, Tajikistan launched an IPO to raise US$1.4billion to finish construction of the dam.[2] By April 26 of that year the Tajik government had raised just US$184 million, enough for two years of construction.[8]

On July 1, 2016 the state commission in charge of the project has picked the Italian company Salini Impregilo to carry out the construction for $3.9 billion. The project is broken down into four components, with the most expensive one involving the building of a 335-meter-high rockfill dam which will entail costs of around $1.95 billion.[9]

On October 29, 2016 Tajik president Emomali Rahmon officially launched the construction of the dam. At the ceremony, the river's flow was ceremonially closed and diverted through the reconstructed diversion tunnels. The construction of the dam is expected to take two years, with the first turbines coming online in late 2018.[10]

Technical description[edit]

Rogun was listed as the highest dam in the world — 335 metres (1,099 ft) high — but this is a projected height. In reality the dam was only circa 60.96 metres (200.0 ft) [11] high until 1993 when it was destroyed in a flood.[12] As of 2014 three projects are under consideration: the original, 335-metre (1,099 ft), and two alternatives, 300-metre (980 ft) and 265-metre (869 ft), all having their advantages and drawbacks.[13]

The hydroelectric power plant is expected to have six turbines with total capacity of 3,600MW. When constructed, it expected to produce 17.1TWh of electrical power per year.[14]

Impact assessment[edit]

In response to the request of the bordering countries and especially Uzbekistan, the World Bank has financed the Techno-Economic Assessment Study (TEAS) conducted by consortium of Coyne et Bellier, Electroconsult and IPA Energy + Water Economics, and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) conducted by Pöyry.[15] The reports, originally slated to be released in February 2012, were delayed until mid-2014. The ESIA was published on 16 June 2014 and the TEAS in July 2014. Overall, the ESIA stated that "Most impacts are rather small and easily mitigated, if mitigation is required at all." and that "There is no impact of the category "strong negative, mitigation not possible", which would have to be considered as a no-go for the project." All parties, including Central Asian states met in Almaty in July 2014 for the 5th Riparian Meeting to discuss findings within the TEAS and ESIA.[16][17][18][19][20]

International tensions[edit]

The project has raised tensions with Uzbekistan over the impact of the dam on its cotton fields' irrigation systems.[21] In February 2010, Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev sent a letter to his Tajik counterpart demanding an independent examination of the possible consequences of the dam.[21][22] During October 2010, Uzbek President Islam Karimov called the Rogun hydropower plants a "stupid project."[23]


  1. ^ Erica Marat (2010-01-15). "Will Tajikistan Successfully Construct Rogun?". Eurasia Daily Monitor. Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  2. ^ a b c Yuriy Humber; Ilya Khrennikov (2010-01-15). "Tajikistan Plans People's IPO for Hydropower 'Plant of Destiny'". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  3. ^ "Tajikistan: Unfinished construction of Rogun HPS is more than $1.2bn worth". Regnum. 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Russia to complete Rogun hydroelectric plant in Tajikistan". Interfax. Portal of Knowledge for Water and Environmental Issues in Central Asia. 2007-02-18. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Central Asia: long-term challenges and short-term crises". International Water Power and Dam Construction. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Construction works in the first building the tunnel on Rogun" (in Russian). Avesta. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Tajikistan has suspended the construction of the Rogun" (in Russian). Korrespondent. 5 August 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Tajikistan to Allow Roghun Shares on the Market". Radio Free Europe; Radio Liberty. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  9. ^ Tajikistan: Italians Picked for Rogun Dam Contract
  10. ^ "Tajikistan starts building world's tallest dam for hydro plant". Reuters. 2016-10-29. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  11. ^ "Rogun Web-site". Rogun Web-site. 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  12. ^ "CISRG Database (Dams Database: Rogun, Tadjikistan)". CISRG. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Savchenkov, N.G. (2006-12-09). "РОГУНСКАЯ ПЛОТИНА (ВЫСОТА ПРОЕКТНАЯ ИЛИ УСЕЧЕННАЯ) "Rogun Dam (Height: Projected or Truncated)". Vechernyi Dushanbe. Portal of Knowledge for Water and Environmental Issues in Central Asia. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  14. ^ "Tajikistan-Uzbekistan: Top level discussions over the Rogun project". Tajik Water. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "Assessment Studies for Proposed Rogun Regional Water Reservoir and Hydropower Project in Tajikistan". The World Bank. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  16. ^ Botting, Alexander (6 March 2013). "Rogun Dam: The Waiting Game". Diplomatic Courier. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for Rogun Hydro Power Plant" (PDF). ESIA Report (Draft) Vol. III: Preliminary Environmental and Social Management Plan. Pöyry, World Bank. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Techno-Economic Assessment Study for Rogun Hydroelectric Construction Project" (PDF). Coyne et Bellier. July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Fifth Information-Sharing and Consultation Meeting on the Assessment Studies of the Proposed Rogun Hydropower Project (HPP)". World Bank. 
  20. ^ "Fifth Information-Sharing and Consultation Meeting on the Assessment Studies of the Proposed Rogun Hydropower Project (HPP)". World Bank. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Tajikistan-Uzbekistan: Top level discussions over the Rogun project". 2010-02-04. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  22. ^ Farangis Najibullah (2010-02-03). "Uzbekistan Worried About Tajik Power Plant's Effect On 'Frail' Environment". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  23. ^ Farangis Najibullah (2010-10-08). "Don't Love Your Neighbor". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2011-03-11.