A report by the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan (MoEWR) says unavailability of proper investment impedes the fulfillment of the plan of events on implementation of priority energy projects in Tajikistan designed for 2015-2020. 

The report notes, first of all, a difficult situation of Barqi Tojik (Tajikistan's state-owned power utility company).  

As of July 1, 2021, Barqi Tojik’s total debts have amounted to 29.3 billion somonis (equivalent to some 2.7 billion U.S. dollars), which is equal to 35 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the last year. 

According to the report, restrictions imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have also impeded the fulfillment of the mentioned plan.  

The point is that the IMF periodically analyzes and evaluates structure and state of external debts of countries of the world that serves as a kind of benchmark for multilateral lenders. 

The so-called “red line” for external debt-to-GDP ratio in low-income countries like Tajikistan is set at 40 percent.     

Lenders are advised to refrain from further lending countries whose external debt-to-GDP amounts to 40 percent.  

As of July 1, 2021, Tajikistan’s external debt has amounted to 3.256 billion U.S. dollars, which is equal to 38.2 percent of the country’s GDP.  

According to the report, 21.3 billion somonis have been spent for construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP) and 326.5 million somonis have been spent for construction of the Dushanbe combined head and power (CHP) plant   

The report says construction of new power plants and rehabilitation of the operating ones have allowed increasing the country’s total power generation capacity by 1,072 MW.  

Current power generation capacity of Tajikistan is about 5,800 MW.   

Last year, an average daily electricity production

In 2020, the daily electricity production in Tajikistan amounted to about 54 million kWh and the country last year generated about 19.8 billion kWh of electricity, which is 1 billion kWh more than in 2019.    

Currently, there are still two monopolists operating in Tajikistan’s market of production, transmission and distribution of electric power – Barqi Tojik and Pamir Energy Company (PamirEnergy), which generates and supplies electricity to more than 220,000 people in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) under 25-year concession agreement.    

“Restructuring of Barqi Tojik has been completed and heads of the newly established companies have been appointed and the process of dividing fixed assets between them is under way,” Abdulmajid Muminzoda, the head of the Antimonopoly Agency under the Government of Tajikistan, told reporters in Dushanbe on February 4. 

Recall, the process of restructuring of Barqi Tojik began in 2012 and Barqi Tojik was expected to be divided into three independent companies in late 2018: (i) generation; (ii) transmission business; and (iii) distribution. 

The main objective of the restructuring of Barqi Tojik is in ensuring transparency in the country’s energy system.

Tajikistan’s power sector is comprised of the vertically integrated energy company, Barqi Tojik, three independent power producers (IPPs), and a concession in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) combining power generation and distribution.

Barqi Tojik is fully owned by the Government.  It owns and operates most of the electricity generating plants and is also responsible for electricity transmission, dispatch, and distribution services to around 8 million people in all regions of the country except for GBAO.

Two of the IPPs – Sangtuda-1 and Sangtuda-2 hydropower plants (HPPs) – were constructed with investments from Russian and Iranian state-owned companies, and supply electricity to Barqi Tojik under 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs).  Third IPP – Roghun HPP – is under construction.

PamirEnergy generates and supplies electricity to more than 220,000 people in GBAO under 25-year concession agreement.

Tajikistan desperately needs to reform its energy sector.