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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK
Tajikistan in $1bn hydropower bid
Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon. File photo
Emomali Rakhmon is looking to rebuild the economy
Tajikistan has announced a $1bn (500m) plan to become one of the world's leading hydropower producers.

President Emomali Rakhmon said the former Soviet republic hoped to attract foreign investment over the next three years to help build 80 power plants.

Tajikistan sees potential energy sales as a key way of lifting the economy, which was battered by civil war during the 1990s.

The central Asian state is one of the poorest in the region.

But experts believe Tajikistan's mountainous rivers have a hydropower capacity of 527 billion kilowatt hours a year - potentially one of the largest in the world.

The government said recently it would break a $1bn deal with Russian aluminium firm OAO Rusal for Tajikistan's largest hydropower project, because of ongoing disagreements.

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