Tajikistan launches second turbine at Rogun megaproject

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DUSHANBE (Reuters) - Tajikistan on Monday launched a second turbine at its Rogun hydroelectric power plant, a megaproject featuring the world’s highest dam that the Central Asian nation hopes will ensure its energy independence and bring in export revenue.

Although delayed by five months, the launch broadcast live on Tajik state television on Monday is a positive news for the holders of the former Soviet republic’s Eurobonds which it issues in 2017 to help finance the project.

Italy’s Salini Impregilo is the main Rogun contractor, having won a $3.9 billion deal to build the 335-metre-high clay core rockfill dam and other facilities. Once complete, the plant will have six turbines.

The Tajik government hopes Rogun will help end power shortages while also allowing Tajikistan to boost energy exports to its neighbors, such as Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

Reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov