Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) Sangtudinskaya GES-1, which operates the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant (HPP), has send another ‘last Chinese warning’ (this term means threats without consequences) to Barqi Tojik power holding (a national integrated power company of Tajikistan).  For the first time, Sangtudinskaya GES-1 warned Barqi Tojik of the possible stoppage of the Sangtuda-1 HPP in early 2009 as Barqi Tojik failed to pay for electricity received from the Sangtuda-1 HPP.  However, the power plant still operates though the debt payment problem has not been resolved.  

According to data from OJSC Sangtudinskaya GES-1, Barqi Tojik’s debt for electricity generated by the Satuda-1 HPP has increased by 234 million somoni (equivalent to 25 million USD) in nine months to September 30, 2018, reaching 1.029 billion somoni (equivalent to 110 million USD). 

Electricity generated by the Sangtuda-1 HPP is sold to Barqi Tojik at the rate of 3.1 cents per 1 kWh.

Barqi Tojik managers say this price is the main reason for creation of its debt to Sangtudinskaya GES-1 since an average price for 1 kWh of electricity in Tajikistan is little more than 2 cents.  

In the summer period, Tajikistan supplies electricity generated by the Sangtua-1 HPP to neighboring Afghanistan at the rate of more than 4 cents per 1 kWh.  

But the existing power transmission lines reportedly limit the volume of electricity deliveries to Afghanistan and Tajikistan still has no other such favorable markets for exporting its electricity.

In the winter period, Barqi Tojik is forced to sell electricity generated by the Sangtuda-1 HPP to domestic customers at relatively low rates.

“This leads to creation of debt and deterioration of the financial situation of the company,” say Barqi Tojik top managers.   .

In 2017, the Sangtuda-1 hydropower plant reportedly generated 1.849 billion kWh of electricity.  From July 31, 2009, when the plant was officially commissioned, to December 31, 2017, the Sangtuda-1 HPP reportedly generated 18 billion kWh of electricity.   

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.

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.

Russia owns 75% percent of the shares minus one share and Tajikistan assumes the 25% ownership interest plus one share in Sangtudinskaya GES-1.

The Sangtuda-1 HPP was officially commissioned on July 31, 2009.  The plant now reportedly provides around 15% of Tajikistan’s electricity output.