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Friday, July 12, 2024

Zim -Tajikistan discuss energy collaborations

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

ZIMBABWE and Tajikistan are discussing potential energy collaborations after Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga toured the Nurek Hydropower Plant in the Asian nation.

The Nurek Hydro Power Plant with an installed capacity of over 3,000 megawatts, generates about 50 per cent of the total annual energy demand in Tajikistan, making it the heart of Tajikistan’s energy system.

Vice President Chiwenga was impressed by the engineering feats and sheer scale of the dam, which stands a staggering 300 meters tall making it the second tallest in the world after China’s Jinping-I – dam.

“This project started in 1961 and they damed the water in this gorge. The dam has a length of 67 km and as you can see it is only 400 meters but what is interesting is that it is 300 meters high and it generates more electricity than we generate at Kariba. When you look at the length of Lake Kariba which we used to pride as the biggest man-made lake it’s only 128 meters high which is 300 It’s quite massive and as you look into the control and the turbines they have got nine turbines it is high-tech.

“The control room is very small but they produce more electricity and they have two more like this and have the potential to export and when we get back home it is our idea to look at all our major rivers and see how we can dam our water, preserve it not only for agriculture but for electricity as well as electric power is the cheapest power of electricity. Nothing is stopping us from reaching Tajikistan‘s potential, it’s only a question of putting our resources together and citing the area as well as cooperating with other countries like Mozambique. The Zambezi has lots of areas which can be damed by both of us and it is a matter that we also need to look at the regional strategy and see how we can make use of our big rivers,” he said.

Discussions with Tajikistan Minister of Energy and Water Resources Mr Juma Daler, revealed shared interest in collaborating in areas which include water, energy, and food security.

“Our discussion with the Vice President was extremely insightful and informative, in this short time the Vice President has understood how the Tajikistan economy works. We have identified crucial areas of cooperation and we are looking at three major areas which are access to water, energy, and food obviously, it is very much in line with the third high-level Dushanbe water conference that’s exactly our focus. The presence of the leadership of Zimbabwe at this global event in terms of promoting the water agenda has not only had global, and political aspects and impacts but it has also shaped the future potential bilateral relationship between Tajikistan and Zimbabwe.

“His Excellency took his time and visited one of our biggest hydropower plants which is over 3000  megawatts hydropower plant and also we have a melting factory of aluminium which is also getting electricity from renewable sources and those are the areas that we have identified that we will be looking at in terms of sharing the knowledge and the experience of two countries and also the best practices because of the challenges, the lessons learnt, and what worked and what didn’t work.

“Secondly, we agreed that we would share the experience in terms of attracting significant investment and implementation of hydropower projects which will improve the water challenges ultimately each country is aiming to achieve its water security level now we will set up the working groups and the experts will be travelling soon to Zimbabwe to look at business opportunities and then gradually shaping it and agree on the roadmap,” he noted.

These discussions come on the heels of the Third High-Level International Conference on Water for Sustainable Development held in Dushanbe.

Minister Daler pointed out that Zimbabwe’s leadership at the conference not only served the global water agenda but also opened doors for bilateral relations with Tajikistan.

The two nations plan to establish working groups to explore concrete opportunities, with Tajikistani experts expected in Zimbabwe soon to assess business prospects, paving the way for a potential roadmap towards energy security for the two countries.

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