Tajikistan suspends works on Rogun HHP

Tajikistan suspends works on the Rogun hidro power plant until the World Bank completes project expediency estimation, Deutsche Welle reported.

Some workers of the Rogun HHP were dismissed, others are on indefinite vacation. There is no information about the time when they can return to their workplace.

According to official information, works on the Rogun HPP were suspended in accordance with the World Bank's request. The Bank has been inspecting the plant since February 2011. WB's participation in the project depends on the results of the examination. Earlier, Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi said Rogun international expertise results would be prepared by February 2013.

According to Tajik political expert Saifullo Safarov, potential investors who want to invest their capital in Rogun depend on political disputes in the region, because neighboring Uzbekistan is against Rogun HPP construction as there are some suspects that the plant can leave this country without water.

"It is clear that the partners in this situation are forced to maneuver between the both countries' interests," Safarov said.

According to expert of Russian Institute of Strategic Studies Dmitry Popov, the World Bank, initiating the Rogun project testing at the same time is forced to be a mediator in discussions between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Currently Tajikistan considers Rogun HPP as a panacea for all problems. Due to lack of energy in the country, Tajikistan's population has electricity for two-three hours a day since October to May.

"Many enterprises can work only seasonally, because in autumn there is energy deficit," Tajik MP Sukhrob Sharipov said.

According to unofficial information, the World Bank insists on the dam height diminution, but Tajikistan does not agree with this proposal.

Meanwhile, according to Tajik political analyst Vafo Niyatbekov, Tajikistan will continue Rogun HPP construction with any results of the project international examination.

"The government is unlikely to stop Rogun HPP construction because the funds for its construction have already been received from population. If the World Bank does not support the project, Tajikistan will look for other investors," Niyatbekov said.