DUSHANBE, September 3, 2011, Asia-Plus – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to arrive in Tajikistan for an official two-day visit Sunday afternoon.

On the same day, Iranian president will hold talks with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon.  The meeting is expected to end with signing of two documents: an agreement on construction of the Ayni hydroelectric power plant and an agreement on construction of a cement plant in Danghara district, Khatlon province.

The preliminary agreement on construction of the Ayni HPP was reached during Iranian president’s visit to Tajikistan in January 2010.  The 150-megawatt Ayni project will be built on the Zarafshon River in the northern Sughd province.

During his stay in Tajikistan, Iranian president will also participate in a ceremony of introduction of the first unit of the Sangtuda-2 HPP into operation.  The first unit of the Sangtuda-2 HPP is expected to be introduced into operation on September 5.

Iran’s news agency, IRAN, quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying on Saturday that the jointly implemented power plant can help various industrial, agricultural and energy projects.

The visit will leave very positive impacts on expansion of relations between the two countries, he pointed out.  Given cultural, religious and historical commonalities, the two presidents will discuss expansion of mutual relations as well as regional and global developments, Mehmanparast said.

We will recall that Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou on November 28, 2010 pressed buttons that detonated explosives, blocking the Vakhsh River for construction of the dam.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Emomali Rahmon promised at the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in Istanbul in December 2010 that the first turbine at Sangtuda-2 will begin producing electricity in 2011.

Construction of Sangtuda-2, a 220-megawatt plant on the Vakhsh River, officially commenced in February 2006.  It is located some 120 kilometers southeast of Dushanbe.  Iran has invested US$180 million and Tajikistan US$40 million in the project.  Once the power station is built, all the revenue over the next 12.5 years will go to the investor and Tajikistan will become the owner of Sangtuda-2 after this period expires.