The World Bank has approved $15 million in grant funding for a project to strengthen the financial, commercial, environmental and social frameworks at Tajikistan’s Rogun Dam.

The grant financing will come from the International Development Association for the Technical Assistance for Financing Framework for Rogun Hydropower Project in Tajikistan (TA).

The Rogun hydropower project, currently under construction, has the potential to generate significant economic, social, and environmental benefits for Tajikistan and other countries in the Central Asia region if it develops in a financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable manner, said the Bank. Once completed, Rogun will be critical in helping Tajikistan to meet its domestic energy demands, especially during wintertime, and to support neighboring countries through the export of surplus electricity. 

The IDA grant will finance the hiring of experts on dam safety and environmental and social (E&S) frameworks to help with necessary improvements that will bring the project in line with current hydropower industry requirements and align with the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework. The TA project will also be instrumental in increasing Rogun’s benefits to a larger number of people through a benefit-sharing mechanism whereby a portion of the project’s revenues would be channelled to various socio-economic programs and initiatives.

“Our technical support aims to improve the Rogun project’s development impact through greater sharing of the project’s revenues to benefit the people of Tajikistan, improvement of the project’s environmental and social performance, and expansion of clean electricity,” said Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Country Director for Central Asia.“This support builds on our current investments in Tajikistan’s energy sector, which focus on improving electricity supply reliability for people and the economy, strengthening the governance of the sector, promoting financial sustainability, and increasing its transparency.”

The TA project would also improve the readiness of the Rogun project to increase the financing required for its completion. In particular, it would help to update the financing plan to ensure that annual spending on the project does not create macro-fiscal risks for the country and that the HPP has a reliable commercial framework for sale of electricity to domestic consumers and for exports.

Rogun dam construction. Image by Sosh19632. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons