Sangtuda 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant

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Sangtuda 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant
Sangtuda 1.jpg
Sangtuda 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant
Sangtuda 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant is located in Tajikistan
Sangtuda 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant
Location of the Sangtuda 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant within Tajikistan
Official name Sangtudinskaya GES-1
Country Tajikistan
Location Danghara District, Khatlon Province
Coordinates 38°02′42″N 69°03′30″E / 38.04500°N 69.05833°E / 38.04500; 69.05833Coordinates: 38°02′42″N 69°03′30″E / 38.04500°N 69.05833°E / 38.04500; 69.05833
Status Operational
Construction began 1989
Opening date 2009
Construction cost US$720 million
Owner(s) Government of Russia (66.39%)
Government of Tajikistan (16.45%)
FGC UES (14.92%)
Inter RAO UES (2.24%)
Dam and spillways
Impounds Vakhsh River
Height 75 m (246 ft)
Length 517 m (1,696 ft)
Total capacity 258×10^6 m3 (209,000 acre·ft)
Surface area 9.75 km2 (3.76 sq mi)
Power station
Operator(s) Sangtudinskaya GES-1
Type Run-of-river
Turbines 4 x 167.5 MW Francis turbine by Power Machines
Installed capacity 670 MW
Annual generation 2,700 GWh

Sangtuda 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant is a hydroelectric power plant, located on the Vakhsh River in Tajikistan. Construction commenced during the Soviet period in the 1980s, but halted in the beginning of the 1990s due to lack of financing when the station was about 20% complete. An agreement with Russia allowed to restart the construction, with four units entering service in 2008–2009. The plant was officially commissioned on 31 July 2009. Once working at full capacity, the plant will provide around 12% of Tajikistan's electricity output.


The Russian and Tajik presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Emomalii Rahmon simultaneously pushing the symbolic start buttons during the commissioning ceremony of the plant.

Plans to build the power plant were made during the 1970s, with the actual construction commencing in 1989.[1] Dissolution of the Soviet Union, the resulting halt of financing, as well as the Civil War in Tajikistan interrupted the construction for over a decade. In 1996, the government set up a company for the construction of the power plant and issued public shares. However, the company did not start operating and was liquidated when a deal with Russia was signed.[2]

In October 2004, an intergovernmental agreement was signed by Russia and Tajikistan to complete the project.[3] In January 2005, Russia, Tajikistan and Iran signed a protocol according to which Russia would participate in construction of Sangtuda 1 and Iran in construction of Sangtuda 2 power plants.[3] On 16 February 2005, a joint Russian-Tajik company Sangtudinskaya GES-1 was established.[4] Construction resumed in April 2005.[3][5]

The first unit entered service ahead of schedule on 20 January 2008 during the unusually harsh winter, with temperatures dipping below −20 °C (−4 °F), which put the Tajik energy system on the brink of collapse.[6][7] The second and third units entered service on 1 July 2008, and 15 November 2008, respectively. The fourth and final unit was brought online on 15 May 2009.[6] On 31 July 2009, the plant was officially commissioned, with the presidents of Russia and Tajikistan Dmitry Medvedev and Emomalii Rahmon participating in the event.[8]


The Sangtuda 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant is located on the Vakhsh River in Khatlon region, 160 kilometres (99 mi) south of Dushanbe.[9] It consist of four units with total capacity of 670 MW and producing 2.7 TWh electricity per year.[7][10] The construction cost US$720 million.[11] Russian government and companies has 75% of shares and Tajikistan has 25% plus one share.[12] The power plant is operated by Sangtudinskaya GES-1, a company controlled by Inter RAO UES.[6] Director of the company is Vladimir Belov.

As of 2010, all electricity is sold to Barqi Tojik, a national electricity company of Tajikistan.[13] There are plans to construct a high-voltage power transmission line to Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan for the electricity export.[5][14] Sangtuda—Puli Khumri 220 kV transmission line to Afghanistan was scheduled to be completed in 2010.[15]


Launching of the plant is a significant milestone in achieving energy independence for Tajikistan, as the country had experienced severe energy shortages ever since it acquired independence. Tajikistan has experienced a severe shortage of electricity during the winter months for the past fifteen years. In the summer time, Tajikistan exports its electricity surplus to surrounding countries, and in the winter time Tajikistan experiences rolling blackouts.[16] The plant provides around 12% of Tajikistan's electricity output.[11]

The plant is the largest project within the Commonwealth of Independent States with participation of the Russian companies, including Power Machines, Chekhov Gidrostal Plant, ChirkeyGESstroy, Zarubezhvodstroy, Zagranenergostroymontazh, and Trust Gidromontazh.[6][11] Both the Tajik and the Russian presidents have noted that the project has contributed significantly to strengthening the relations between the two countries.[11]


In 1996, public shares of the company for the construction of the power plant were issued. After dissolving this company it remained unclear how the owners of shares are to be compensated.[2] Some of Tajikistan's neighbours, especially Uzbekistan, are concerned that construction of large hydroelectric plants within the headwaters of the region's rivers will result in shortages of water downstream.[2]

Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are concerned that the filling of the power plant's reservoir and the actual operation of the power plant will harm the water needed for their crop production.[17]

Withdrawal of Uzbekistan from the Central Asian unified power system also cut Tajikistan off from the system and blocked electricity export via Uzbek to southern Kazakhstan. Because of this, the plant can't utilize its full capacity. Rail traffic blockade by Uzbekistan had delayed construction of transmission lines from the plant to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dmitry Glumskov, Natalia Grib (14 September 2004). "Who will end up owing Sangtuda". Kommersant. Ferghana.Ru. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Boboev, Jahongir (6 January 2010). "Tajiks feel pinch in funding dam". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Медведев и Рахмон открыли Сангтудинскую ГЭС-1 (Medvedev and Rahmon opened Sangtuda 1)" (in Russian). Vzglyad. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  4. ^ Chorshanbiyev, Payrav (26 June 2010). "Work on cementation of run-of-river part of Sangtuda-1 dam completed". ASIA-Plus. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Tajikistan, Iran, Afghanistan ministers to discuss energy projects". RIA Novosti. 16 February 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d "In Tajikistan, started Sangtuda HPP-1". Market Analysis. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Подписан акт о приемке в эксплуатацию Сангтудинской ГЭС-1 (Commissioning act of Sangtuda HPP-1 is signed)" (Press release) (in Russian). Inter RAO UES. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "RF, Tajik presidents launch Sangtuda HPP-1". ITAR TASS. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2009. 
  9. ^ "Russian, Tajik Presidents Unveil Joint-Venture Power Plant". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  10. ^ Kozhevnikov, Roman (15 December 2006). "Tajikistan dams river to fight power shortages". Reuters. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d Kozhevnikov, Roman; Onegina, Anastasia (31 July 2009). "Russia boosts C. Asia ties, opens plant in Tajikistan". Reuters. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Volkov, Vitaly (15 December 2006). "Dmitry Medvedev's Visit To Tajikistan Not Solves Existing Problems". Turkish Weekly. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Ergasheva, Zarina (9 October 2010). "Barqi Tojik now owes US$30.8 mln to Sangtudinskaya GES-1". ASIA-Plus. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Tajikistan, Iran, Afghanistan Sign Deal On Electric Power Line". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 21 February 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  15. ^ Chorshanbiyev, Payrav (2 August 2010). "Construction of power grid from Sangtuda-1 HPP to Afghan border to be completed in September". ASIA-Plus. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Last system at Tajikistan's Sangtuda power plant started up". Central Asia Online. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Tajikistan to Export Electricity to Afghanistan". Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  18. ^ Chorshanbiyev, Payrav (30 July 2010). "Energy blockade reportedly costs Sangtudinskaya GES-1 at US$20 mln". ASIA-Plus. Retrieved 13 November 2010.