Tajikistan is the world’s third largest producer of hydroelectric power after the U.S. and Russia. Hydroelectric generation accounts for 76 percent of total energy output in the country. Energy consumption per capita is among the lowest in the NIS. An estimated 3,908 million kWh of electricity was exported from Tajikistan in 2000. Tajikistan is also an importer of electricity and in 2000 imported electricity, which amounted to an estimated 5242.3 million kWh. Imports of energy for Tajikistan will be on the rise from the effects of the drought in 2000 causing a drop in the water level at the reservoir serving the largest hydroelectric power station in all of Central Asia, Norak.
Another major power station, is the Roghun dam which is under construction. Roghun is designed to have a capacity of 3,600 megawatts, which would produce an average annual output of 13.3 billion kilowatt hours. The Government of Tajikistan is anxious to identify foreign financing to finish the construction of the Roghun complex to address the country’s critical energy shortages that result in only a few hours a day of electricity in the winter and has shut down much of the country’s industry. Hydroelectric energy is key for the future of economic growth for Tajikistan because of the country’s high need to import oil and natural gas from its neighboring countries, and the energy consumption alone of the TadAZ aluminum smelter at the Tursunzoda plant.
Tajikistan also consumes significant quantities of oil, natural gas and coal but is self-sufficient for less than 50 percent of its total energy needs. Uzbekistan alone supplies more than 70 percent Tajikistan’s petroleum needs. Other CIS countries such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan provide another 27 percent. In 2000 Tajikistan imported 187,000 tons in petroleum products and 646,000 cubic meters of natural gas. The government has identified several gas fields for development, is seeking foreign investors, and has held talks with Iran for assistance in the oil sector.