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Power industry as a core of
the RUSAL's investment policy
in Tajikistan
Leos Tomicek,
Project Manager
Rogunskaya Hydroelectric Power Station
Construction Project
June 2005
Nowadays, power engineering is a world industry that does not only determine the pace of economic growth but
also shows the way a country develops as a whole including the living standards of its population.
The energy indices such as specific power consumption per capita and power intensity of the industry are some of
the most reliable indices of both economical and social development of a country. They are also noted for very
high accuracy. Sometimes, changes in the gross domestic product (GDP), even in developed countries, are not
determined by counting forward, which can be rather complicated, but by power consumption dynamics.
Unfortunately, the development of power engineering today has another negative aspect related to its
environmental impact.
Today it stands to reason that the global warming recorded worldwide in the last decades, which was first noticed
about 150 years ago, is of an anthropogenic nature. The first to be blamed is the power sector that accounts for
the main portion of emissions of greenhouse gases (mainly, РЎРћ2).
The current consequences of the global warming are degradation of lands, thawing of glaciers, and shortages of
water in some regions of our planet. Just today, according to scientists, the volumes of glaciers in the Central Asia
have dropped by 30%.
Further warming in our planet may result in disastrous effects – rise of the world ocean level, floods of towns and
entire countries, and desertification of entire regions.
To struggle against this, the Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed on the UN initiative in 1992,
and it came into force in March 1994. Its purpose is not to allow "hazardous anthropogenic impact on the climatic
system". To achieve this particular goal, the Kyoto Protocol was signed in Japan in 1997, and according to the
Protocol the industrially developed countries must reduce their cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases by
2008-2012 by not less than 5% as compared to the level of 1990, and all other countries must implement their
development strategies within the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, which came into
force in 2005.
All this makes it clear that today RUSAL, just as many other leading world industrial companies, is in a
complicated and contradictory situation regarding its development.
RUSAL is one of the top three world leaders of aluminum production. The company accounts for 75% of Russian
aluminum production and 10% of world aluminum production.
 t is the only private aluminum company being one of the top three leaders.
 Its production volume in 2004 was 2.7 mln tons of aluminum.
 Its annual turnover in 2004 was USD 5.4 bln.
 63% of its products are supplied directly to end users, including large industrial companies in 38 countries of the
 The investment volume in 2004 was more than USD 534 mln, including USD 278 mln of investments to
modernization and development of production.
 About 50,000 of staff work at the Company's plants in 7 Russian regions and 11 world countries.
 Three of four RUSAL's aluminum plants (BrAZ, KrAZ, SAZ) are certified in compliance with the international
environmental standard ISO 14001. The works to introduce the environmental management system are
performed at NkAZ as well.
It is difficult to name the field where aluminum is not used. It is widely applied even in private life – in the form of
houseware, cans for liquids and many-many others. Its consumption is constantly growing worldwide.
In view of its specific nature, aluminum production is one of the most power-consuming processes. Therefore,
gradual expansion of aluminum production, which is necessary today, requires also an increase in electric power
As a result, today RUSAL is facing a serious problem of the need to gradually expand aluminum production and
correspondingly develop the electric power industry in the conditions of the global trend to restrict the negative
environmental impact of power engineering.
Unfortunately, since then and until now, in spite of all efforts, Tajikistan did not manage to attract any external
investments to continue the construction of these facilities.
Of course, under such conditions real attraction of investments directly to the power industry itself is simply
impossible. A certain vicious circle has been formed – enhancement and development of the Tajik economy is
impossible without development of the power industry, yet development of the latter, in its turn, requires
enhancement and development of the country economy itself.
In late 2004, the Presidents of Russia and Tajikistan signed several agreements to encourage the inflow of
Russian private capital investments in the development of the Tajik power industry. RUSAL has become one of
the main investors to the Tajik economy. It was RUSAL that developed a principally new strategy based on a
complex approach for solving both the problem of the power industry development and problem of its effective
usage. The pollution-free hydroelectric potential is used as a power source.
Implementation of this particular strategy provides for construction of Rogunskaya HPP and use of the electric
power it generates to develop aluminum production in Tajikistan.
The phasing principle lies in the basis of RUSAL's power strategy. At the first phase, construction of the 1st turn
of Rogunskaya HPP is provided with the intermediate height of the dam and electric power generation of 4.5-5.0
bln kW/h per year. It is considered to be possible to continue its construction in future right up to full completion
and establishment of a hydroelectric system with the water reservoir volume of 13.3 km3 and electric power
generation of 13.1 bln kW/h per year.
Such RUSAL's strategy fully complies with the national policy and economic development program of the
country approved by the Government of Republic in the program documents, such as the following ones:
Concept of rational use and protection of the water resources in the Republic of Tajikistan (2001)
Concept of developing industries of the fuel and energy complex of the Republic of Tajikistan for period of
2003-2015 (2002)
Document of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2002)
Middle-term economic development program of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period until 2015 (2004)
RUSAL's strategy also allows resolution of the problems mentioned above with the most effective method.
Electric power is an intermediate raw material in the closed scheme of electric power generation and consumption
built by RUSAL, and in this case it is the electric power cost that matters only. The latter is minimal since water is
used as an energy carrier. This ensures high efficiency of receiving the end product – aluminum. In its turn, this
promotes the more effective development of Tajikistan itself and transformation of the Republic into one of the most
economically powerful states in the Central Asia.
Furthermore, development of the power industry on the basis of the hydroelectric potential will promote
environmental enhancement. All over the world, the anthropogenic greenhouse effect is related mainly to power
engineering represented for 90% by the thermoelectric power stations. The hydroelectric plants are absolutely
pollution-free power sources in this relation. Therefore, for example, only construction of the 1st turn of Rogunskaya
HPP with the generation of 5 bln kW/h per year will produce, as compared to a thermoelectric power station, an
environmental effect in the form of reducing РЎРћ2 emission at the rate of 5 mln tons per year.
Thus, the RUSAL's strategy in Tajikistan can be considered as one of real clean development mechanisms (CDM).
At the same time, implementation of the strategy provides for a procedure of its international expertise within the UN
Convention done at Espoo, Finland (EIA – Environmental Impact Assessment of the Economic Commission for
Europe (ECE) of UN). Tajikistan is one of its members.
One cannot but note that the great positive effect will be achieved as a result of implementing the RUSAL's
strategy in the field of the Tajik power engineering and joint use of water resources of the basin.
Today, there are contradictions between them in the matters of using water resources; more than one half of them
are formed in the territory of Tajikistan. The essence of these contradictions is in the fact that the countries of
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, being upstream the rivers of the Aral Sea basin, are interested in the power use of the
water resources to generate electric power in winter. The downstream countries of the basin are interested in water
use in summer, for the sake of irrigated farming.
Today it is difficult to resolve this conflict of interests; for its resolution, serious concessions and compensations of
the Central Asia countries to each other are required. This is explained by the fact that there is only one large water
reservoir in each of two river basins in the main countries regulating the water course: Toktogulskoe reservoir in
Kyrgyzstan at the Syr-Darya River and Nurekskoe reservoir in Tajikistan at Amu-Darya River. Of course, usage of
these water reservoirs simultaneously in two modes – irrigation and power generating – is impossible.
This problem can be solved at the expense of building new HPPs with water reservoirs that will allow normal
division of their functions – the upper one will operate in a purely power mode and the lower one will redistribute
the river flow in the interests of irrigation. Construction of the Rogunsky hydrosystem will be just the solution of
this problem for the basin of the Amu-Darya River, while Rogunskaya HPP itself located upstream from the
operating Nurekskaya HPP can fulfill the function of a power equalizer and work in a purely power mode.
The RUSAL's strategy is being developed taking into account both the national legislation of Tajikistan and the
standards of international law.
Along with economic and environmental matters, the RUSAL's strategy in Tajikistan comprises also other
matters including social ones. These include training and retraining of workers, technicians and engineers for
power and aluminum industries, teaching of students to hydropower engineering in institutes of higher education
of Russia and other CIS countries, creation of comfort work and life conditions for the workers, implementation
of social and charity projects, etc.
Finally, the RUSAL's strategy in the field of power engineering and aluminum production in Tajikistan will
promote the development of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries – Russia and Tajikistan –
and greater economic integration.
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