Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has launched the first unit of a 220MW hydroelectric facility on the Vakhsh River in the Khatlon region of Tajikistan.

Iran has invested approximately $180m in the construction of this Sangtuda-2 hydropower project, while Tajikistan’s investment amounted to about $40m.

The hydropower plant will be operated by Iran for the next 12 years and then its control will be transferred to Tajikistan’s national power company.

Iran is also planning to construct the 150MW Ayni hydroelectric station on the Zeravshan River in Tajikistan.

According to media reports, both countries have been in talks over the construction of a power line from Tajikistan to Iran through Afghanistan.