China firm signs to build Tajikistan’s 150-MW Zarafshan

Tajikistan officials have signed an agreement with SinoHydro Corp. of China calling for the Chinese firm to build the 150-MW Zarafshan hydroelectric project on Tajikistan’s Zarafshan River.

Chairman Sharifhon Samiev of Tajikistan utility Barki Tajik and SinoHydro General Manager Fan Jixiang signed the agreement January 17 during a visit to Beijing by Tajikistan President Imomali Rakhomov.

Fan said SinoHydro would employ advanced dam construction technology to build the clay-core earthen dam, optimize the construction plan, and attempt to generate power ahead of schedule. Zarafshan, also called Zaravshan or Yava or Yavan, is expected to require 36 months to build.

SinoHydro completed a feasibility study of the project in December. An initial construction agreement was reached in early January in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe.

Work on financing was still under way. Central Asia information agency Ferghana quoted a Barki Tajik official saying China offered Tajikistan a 25-year loan for the project totaling US$200 million at 1 percent interest.

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