The Tajik authorities have denied rumors about accidents at the site for construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP) as ‘absolutely unfounded. 

“There were no any accidents at the site for construction of the Roghun HPP.  Just filtering slightly exceeded the norm at the dam core.  The work on cementing the dam core from both sides is under way and they have managed to decrease the filtering level,” Jamshed Ahmadzoda, the head of the Agency for Construction and Architecture under the Government of Tajikistan, told reporters in Dushanbe on July 19.  

A cross-section of an embankment dam shows a shape like a bank, or hill.  Most have a central section or core composed of an impermeable material to stop water from seeping through the dam.  The core can be of clay, concrete, or asphalt concrete.

According to Ahmadzoda, the main goal of builders is now to begin construction of the main dam.  “The preparation works on construction the main dam are under way and the main dam should be 335 meters in height,” he said.  

It is to be noted that since the beginning of the year there have been rumors that serious accidents occurred at the site for construction of the Roghun Dam. 

Roghun HPP is an embankment dam in the preliminary stages of construction on the Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan.  It is one of the planned hydroelectric power plants of Vakhsh Cascade.

The Roghun HPP was first proposed in 1959 and a technical scheme was developed by 1965.  Construction began in 1976 but the project was frozen after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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.

In October 2004, Tajikistan signed an agreement with Russia's RusAl aluminum company, according to which RusAl agreed to complete the Roghun facility and rebuild the Tursunzoda aluminum smelter.  In August 2007, Tajikistan formally revoked a contract with RusAl, accusing it of failing to fulfill the contract.

In April 2008, Tajikistan founded OJSC NBO Roghun with an authorized capital of 116 million somoni for completing the construction of the Roghun HPP.  Current authorized capital of OJSC NBO Roghun reportedly amounts to more than 12 billion somoni.

To raise funds to complete construction of the Roghun HPP the government started to sell shares in Roghun to people on January 6, 2010.  Tajikistan has reportedly issued 6 billion somoni worth of Roghun shares.  The sale of Roghun shares has reportedly earned the government 980 million somoni.  

Tajikistan issued its first Eurobond in 2017 to help finance the project, which will include the world’s tallest dam.

Italy’s Salini Impregilo won a $3.9 billion contract, making it the biggest single investment in Tajikistan since it gained independence in 1991.

Tajikistan stemmed the flow of the Vakhsh River for construction of the Roghun HPP in late October 2016.  

The Roghun HPP’s first of six units was officially switched on November 16, 2016.  The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources has said that Roghun’s first unit produced more than 90 million kilowatt hours of electricity during its first 45 days.  But output at the unit was temporarily suspended in early March this year because of maintenance work. 

The second unit of the Roghun HPP is expected to be introduced into operation in September this year.   

Once it is completed — by 2033, if all goes to plan — Roghun should comprise a total of six 600-megawatt generating units.  At peak annual capacity, the plant should be able to produce up to 17 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.