Italy’s Salini Impregilo wins $5bn 13kWH Rogun HPP and dam contract

Italy’s Salini Impregilo has won the contract to design and build the  Rogun Dam hydro power plant in Tajikistan, it was announced last week. The new plant will be the largest of its kind in Central Asia, with an annual generation capacity of 13 kWh. The cost of the project is believed to be between $3bn and $5bn.
Construction began in 1982 but was halted in 1991 with the break-up of the Soviet Union and Tajikistan’s ensuing five-year civil war. In 1993 the existing coffer dam was washed away and the original  tunnels  damaged. Tajikistan began rebuilding these and the  underground civil works in 2008, but construction was suspended in August 2012  pending an inspection and recommendations from the World Bank.  The bank’s assessment was published in July 2014, explicitly approving the technical, economic and social aspects of the its construction.
Plans for the plant and the  dam across the Vakhsh River were originally drawn up in the 1970s, but the project has been dogged by controversy from the start. Concerned that it will negatively effect the irrigation of its cotton fields, Uzbekistan has always been bitterly opposed and reacted with predictable anger to the World Bank’s findings, accusing its assessment team of being “guided by the desire to push forward  the project at any cost the project and ignoring the interests of people and the states in the middle and lower reaches of the Amu Darya [river valley]…..Uzbekistan never, and under no circumstances, will provide support to this project.”