The Assessment Studies for the proposed Rogun Hydropower Project in Tajikistan have been finalized after the fifth round of riparian consultations was completed and comments from government and civil society stakeholders were carefully considered, the World Bank said.
"This is the result of four years of independent, transparent, and consultative analysis to assess the feasibility of the proposed Rogun Hydropower Project from the technical, economic, environmental, and social perspectives," the Bank added.
In response to a request by the Government of Tajikistan, the World Bank supported two studies to evaluate the viability of the proposed Rogun Hydropower Project (HPP) according to international standards: Techno-Economic Assessment Study (TEAS); Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).
These Assessment Studies were conducted by international consultant firms contracted on a competitive basis by the Government of Tajikistan and financed through an IDA project with assistance of World Bank experts. The studies were contracted to two international firms and the procurement process was monitored closely by the World Bank. A consortium led by Coyne & Bellier undertook the TEAS (contact signed on February 8, 2011) while Poyry Energy Ltd. of Switzerland directed the ESIA (contract signed on March 25, 2011).
The Assessment Studies examined the potential benefits and risks of the proposed Rogun HPP and comprehensively evaluate its technical, economic, social, and environmental viability based on international standards and practices and in accordance with the World Bank's policies and procedures. The Studies are to provide the Government of Tajikistan, the other Central Asian countries and the international community, including the World Bank, with information about key elements associated with the proposed Rogun HPP, such as the project's technical soundness and safety, economic viability and compliance with all relevant environmental and social safeguards.
The proposed Rogun HPP would be the highest dam in the world. Due to significant changes in hydropower development and climate science over the past three decades, it is critical that Tajikistan applies modern international knowledge and standards to ascertain the public safety and long-term economic viability of such a project.
According to international practice, construction should not begin on any project before the technical, economic, and social viability is fully assessed. Otherwise, significant risks could be posed to public safety. In the spirit of internationally accepted norms, the World Bank and the Government of Tajikistan reached an understanding in 2010 that no new construction would commence until the Assessment Studies have been prepared, reviewed by the Panels of Experts, then shared and discussed with riparian nations. It was also agreed that there would be no further resettlement of residents from the proposed reservoir area until there is a resettlement framework plan in place to provide proper compensation or alternative housing.