DUSHANBE, December 26, Asia-Plus - Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov is scheduled to pay a visit to China in mid-January, 2007. 

According to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MoEDT), one of the main issues to figure in President Rahmonov’s discussions with Chinese officials is the construction of the Yavan hydropower plant on the Zarafshon River in northern Tajikistan.  

During Rahmonov’s visit to Beijing, issues related to the implementation of agreements  reached between Tajikistan and China, including the construction of the Yavan and a number of other power plants on the Zarafshon River, will be discussed.  

In the beginning of this year, China Sinohydro Corp expressed wish to participate in the construction of the Yavan hydropower plant on the Zarafshon River, according to the source.  In June, during negotiations in Beijing, the Tajik side proposed to construct the plant by using BOT method.

Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) is a form of project financing, wherein a private entity receives a franchise from the public sector to finance, design, construct, and operate a facility for a specified period, after which ownership is transferred back to the public sector.  During the time that the project proponent operates the facility, it is allowed to charge facility users appropriate tolls, fees, rentals, and charges stated in their contract to enable the project proponent to recover its investment, and operating and maintenance expenses in the project.

For its part, Sinohydro Corp proposed to construct the plant by the APS (Project-Finance-Construct) method, the MoEDT source said.  The Tajik side has agreed with this version and the construction is scheduled to start next year.  

The project for construction of the Yavan plant on the Zarafshon River was worked out in the Eighties already.  The plant is planned to generate 960 million kWh of electricity per year and an estimated budget for the implementation of the project is US$96 million.    

Sinohydro Corporation is the largest water conservancy and hydropower industry company in China, with a registration capital of US$242 million.  It has 20 wholly owned subsidiaries, four holding companies, 16 overseas divisions, and about 35,000 technical and management staff. Sinohydro has annual production capabilities of approximately 150 million cubic meters of earthwork, 150,000 cubic meters of concrete placing, 8000mw of power generation equipment installation, and 100,000 tons of steel works fabrication and installation.  It specializes in: investment, project financing, consulting, construction, mechanical and electrical plant manufacturing and installation, construction equipment manufacturing, and trading in the industries of water conservancy, power generation, transportation, public utilities, and building.