The RAO Unified Energy Systems: unintentional participant of an energy crisis in Tajikistan
The Russian holding finances construction of the Sangtuda'1 Hydroelectric Power Plant. The Vahsh River will have to be dammed for the purposes of construction, and the output of other hydroelectric power plants will therefore go down. Die Deutsche Welle reports that all of the country is regularly left in the dark now. Electric power in Dushanbe is not available between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. every night. Elsewhere throughout the country, it is available 2-5 hours every twenty-four. The authorities gave a solemn promise to finish the work on the river on December 3. The work is not over yet even now, and specialists say that at least a month longer is needed to complete it. Subzero temperatures in the republic are expected in a week. News agencies have already reported several deaths of exposure. The RAO Unified Energy Systems in the meantime maintains that is only a sponsor.
Sangtuda'1 Senior Engineer Igor Kim told Asia-Plus news agency that there are two variants of work on the control structure at this point. "Option One: we complete all work with water-collecting tunnels (water from the river will flow into once it is dammed) and dam the river itself after that. In order to build the dam of the future hydroelectric power plant, that is. But that will happen next February at best," he said. "Option Two: we pour concrete only on the tunnel floors, dam the river by December 10, and simultaneously continue work on the tunnel roofs." Kim says that the choice has to be made yet.
Sources in Barki Tochik (the national energy company) confirm that the river-damming may be postponed until February 2007. The problem is rooted in the unfinished water-collecting tunnels of the future hydroelectric power plant. Construction Site General Director Alexander Ryabinin in the meantime denounces all speculations on the postponement. "This minor delay occurred because of problems with concrete in November when the delivery schedule was disrupted," he explained. "Everything is back on schedule now, and what is slated to take place in the middle of December will take place in the middle of December." Another source who knows what he is talking about says that the government of Tajikistan knows all too well that time is needed and that the blackouts in the country were ordered by the government itself.
Nikolai Gorelov, Vremya Novostei, December 8, 2006, p. 8
© Translated by Ferghana.Ru