translated from Spanish: Tajikistan, the highest dam in the world

Rogun, Tajikistan-project “vital” or delusions of grandeur? Tajikistan opens this Friday the highest dam in the world at Rogun, desired by the authorities in this poor country of Central Asia despite the economic, ecological and geopolitical issues raised. The works of the Rogun dam, inaugurated in October 2016 by President Emomali Rakhmon, very attached to the project, have not finished, and this Friday will launch only one of six generators that must be activated. 

The dam is located in Rogun. | AFP here ten years, will produce 3,600 megawatts, the equivalent of three nuclear reactors of new generation, like those that sold the Russian group Rosatom in the region. 
For Tajikistan, which is suffering a chronic deficit of power and numerous in winter power interruptions, Rogun dam is “vital”, as he repeated Rakhmon on several occasions. Sold to the Italian group Salini Impregilo 3,900 million dollars (3,100 million euros), it is located 100 km east of the capital, Dushanbe, and will become, with its 335 meters – 30 times more than the Chinese dam of Jinping I – in construction highest of its kind in the world. 

There will be three new generation nuclear reactors. | AFP even became “a concept of nation-building”, explained to AFP researcher Abdugani Mamadzinov, which reminds the country struggling to overcome a five-year civil war caused 150,000 deaths in the 1990s.  Therefore, not surprisingly, some propose naming this dam with the name Emomali Rakhmon, which his detractors already accused in the past of megalomania. 

The work is located in high seismic intensity area. Photo: AFP

However, there are doubts about whether Tajikistan really need this dam. The country already has in Nurek (South West) one of the most important dams of the planet, launched during the Soviet era, and some experts fear that the authorities have aimed too high. In power since 1992, the head of State, 66, opened in 2011 the “highest flag mast of the world” (156 meters). Dushanbe also boasts of having the largest library in the region, the tea house the world’s largest and very soon with “the largest and most beautiful of Central Asian Theatre”, according to Emomali Rakhmon. 

The interior of the dam. | These AFP projects, even if they were inordinate, were not an ecological risk. But Rogun is located “in an area of intense seismic activity and several studies they warned of risks to as large as a dam construction”, said by e-mail to the AFP Filippo Menga, Professor of geography at the University of Reading human) United Kingdom). Geopolitical risks of the project, in a desert region where access to water is limited, on the other hand dropped from death in 2016 of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. This was a fervent opposition to the dam, since his country, Uzbekistan, especially its agricultural sector and the cultivation of cotton, depend on water coming from Tajikistan. 

Enormous construction around the Vaksh River. | AFP the threat was large, Uzbekistan is the most populous and is more powerful militarily than Tajikistan, but the successor of Islam Karimov, Shavkat Mirzioiev, approached its neighbor Tajikistan and started a new thaw in relations between the two countries. For now, Rogun is still seen as a huge construction site, a rocky soil that covers the surroundings of the mighty river Vaksh, thanks to which the dam will produce thousands of megawatts. Engineer Assistant Chief Sukhrob Ochilov, speaking to journalists from a platform that dominated the set, celebrated on Wednesday the success of the project. “I’ve waited this time. The inauguration of Rogun means the construction of new factories, economic progress and work for our people”, he said. In this note:

Original source in Spanish

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