In Tajikistan, water is power. 

Nearly 90% of electricity here comes from hydropower plants.

The Golovnaya hydropower plant is among the oldest.

It provides electricity to Tajikistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

But frequent breakdowns hampered the plant’s operations and cut down power supply. 

“The construction of the Golovnaya hydropower plant began in 1956. Its equipment became obsolete. It had frequent breakdowns affecting power supply. The ongoing rehabilitation is the first in the last 60 years,” said Nurmahmad Holnazarov, Director General of the Golovnaya hydropower plant.

The Asian Development Bank is helping modernize the Golovnaya hydropower plant with a $136 million grant.

This will extend the plant’s operating life and increase its generation capacity from 240 to 270 megawatts.

Up to 6,000 households will benefit from the additional power.

Umeda Kasymova, hydraulic engineer at the Golovnaya hydropower plant, said: “The plant has got more efficient and modern turbines, generators, and other equipment. We’ve also installed oil containment facilities to prevent transformers from leaking oil into the river. It will reduce the risk of environmental damage in case of emergency. We have also put in place a modern automatic fire extinguishing system.”

Rehabilitating the plant is crucial for Tajikistan which used to suffer from frequent blackouts.

It will also boost cross-border energy sharing within the region.

Tajikistan and Afghanistan are both members of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation or CAREC Program, a platform for 11 countries and development partners like ADB to work together for sustainable development.

Together, they are working to reform power systems and introduce a more reliable supply of clean energy throughout the region.