Tajikistan's hydropower energy projects will not affect the ecological and water balance in the region, Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmon said on Sunday in time of an official ceremony dedicated to the beginning of construction of a dam for Sangtuda-2 hydropower plant in the south of the country.
Iranian and Tajik experts began building the plant, estimated at $225 million, in 2006. Iranians have so far provided over $180 million. The plant will come into operation by late 2011.Sangtuda-2 is expected to generate a billion kilowatt/hour a year once the construction is completed.
"Tajikistan is one of the main sources of fresh clean water and ice in the world. Along with the other peoples in the region we have the right to use this environmental asset," Tajikistan's president added.
Sangtuda-2 will boost the country's economy, he said.
Iran's Energy Minister Majid Namju who also visited the ceremony pledged that his country would always "back the people of Tajikistan in tackling their energy problems."
Under the agreement reached with Tajikistan, Iran will keep the profits from Sangtuda-2 for twelve and a half years, and then the plant will become Tajikistan's property.
The project also stipulates the construction of a high-voltage electricity transmission line to export energy from Tajikistan's Sangtuda-2 to Iran via Afghanistan.
DUSHANBE, November 28 (RIA Novosti)