DUSHANBE, November 10, Asia-Plus -- Cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and Russia’s joint-stock company Gazprom are very good, Aleksandr Ryazanov, the deputy head of Gazprom, told journalists in Dushanbe today, following his meeting with President Emomali Rahmonov.  

Ryazanov said that they had discussed possibilities for joint work to develop and operate Tajikistan’s gas fields.  The Russian official noted that in March this year, the Tajik Government and Gazprom signed in Dushanbe a memorandum on the launch of a joint venture in Tajikistan.  Under this document several gas fields in Tajikistan will be prospected.  “This year, we plan to invest US$7 million and further US$12 million will be allocated from the Gazprom budget to the joint venture next year,” the Gazprom deputy head, noting that within the next few days the joint venture will get a license for prospecting four gas fields: Western Shaambari; Sariqamish, Sargazon and Rengan.   “We hope for finding natural gas and may be oil here,” said Ryazanov, “Natural gas and oil produced by these fields will be used to meet Tajikistan needs as well.”  

Proven gas resources in Sariqamish and Rengan total 40 billion cubic meters and Sargazon 30 billion.

According to Ryazanov, they also considered the possible cooperation in the implementation of hydropower projects in Tajikistan.  “Gazprom in cooperation with Canada’s Lavalin and Russian-Ukrainian joint venture Rosukrenergo has conducted a feasibility study for the construction of three power plants on the Zarafshon River,” said Ryazanov, “The study is expected to have been finished by the end of the year and after that we will make decision on the construction of these power plants.”

On these power plants on the Zarafshon River, the Gazprom deputy head noted that a total capacity of them will be 600 megawatt.  An estimated budget for the construction of these three power plants is US$300,000-US$400,000, according to him.  

Ryazanov also underlined the significance of the construction of power-transmission lines in Tajikistan that are needed for supplying electric power to the neighboring countries and the Russian