Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon set the first turbine of the Rogun hydroelectric dam in motion at a ceremony attended by thousands to mark the latest milestone in this ambitious $3.9-billion project involving Salini Impregilo to double the country’s energy production.
President Rahmon watched as the rotor of Unit 6 came to life in the dam’s power house in the presence of government officials and foreign dignitaries, including World Bank Vice President, Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller, Italian Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Manlio Di Stefano and Salini Impregilo Chief Executive Pietro Salini.
Unit 6 is the first of six turbines being installed at the dam. With each having a capacity of 600 MW, the total installed capacity will eventually be 3,600 MW, equal to three nuclear power plants. This huge capacity will make Rogun the most powerful hydroelectric dam in Central Asia.
A second turbine is expected to start producing electricity by 2019 in what is called early generation: putting into operation part of the dam before it is completed. The early start of the turbines will allow Tajikistan to cope with internal demand for electricity, especially during the winter months when thousands of families are in need light and heat. It will also be able to raise money from the sale of part of the electricity produced to neighbouring countries.
Commissioned by OJSC “Rogun Hydropower Project”, the state-run company that is coordinating the project, the rockfill dam with a loam core is being built by of Salini Impregilo to become the tallest dam in the world at 335 m. Salini Impregilo is doing the main civil works and related services. With the dam crest at an elevation of 1,300 m above the sea level, Rogun will also become the world's highest dam, breaking the record held by the Nurek Dam, also in Tajikistan.
Located in the upper reaches of the Vakhsh River in the Pamir Mountains, Rogun is about 90 km from Dushanbe, the capital.
Work on the dam has already seen the diversion of the river with the erection of a cofferdam, channelling its waters through two diversion tunnels in a mountainside to keep the foundations of the dam dry.
The project is the latest to highlight Salini Impregilo’s leadership in the water sector worldwide. Other works include the Anacostia River Tunnel in Washington, D.C., the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia and the new Panama Canal.
Source: Salini Impregilo