Following talks, the leaders of both countries said a priority for them was to boost co-operation in hydropower, and noted that Ukraine had previously supplied much of the equipment to the sector in Tajikistan.

They added that further co-operation in the construction of the Rogun project was of interest to Ukraine, and that a deal worth several hundred million US dollars was being considered.

The 2400MW project is under development for completion of construction on the Vakhsh river as part of a hydro power cascade in the Pamir-Altai Mountains. Work started during the Soviet era then stopped when it ended.

Being designed by consultant Lahmeyer International, the Rogun project is planned to be completed in two stages with initial and final dam heights of 235m and 285m, respectively. It has also introduced a plan for a 175m high start-up dam that would be integrated with the main structure. The benefit of the dam would be to allow earlier power generation.

At Stage 1, three of the plants 600MW units would be installed but working with only partial load. The fourth unit would be added after Stage 2 to complete the project.

The proposed layout – comprising the rockfill embankment dam and an underground powerhouse, is generally similar to the original design of 1978, except for design and layout changes at spillways, mid-level outlet and tailrace tunnels. A number of the previously built structures need to be demolished and some unused tunnels backfilled and sealed with concrete plugs.

The consultant was hired by Rusal, the Russian aluminium conglomerate, acting as agent body on behalf of the Russian state in its co-operation with the Government of Tajikistan to complete the project.

Plants on the meltwater-fed Vakhsh cascade include Nurek (3000MW), Baipaza (600MW), Golovnaya (240MW), Perepadnaya (30MW) and Centralnaya (15MW).

Under construction on the river is the 670MW Sangtuda-1 (Sangtudinskaya-1) plant, and the 220MW Sangtuda-2 project is being developed.