Nurek city is located 70km to the south-east from Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. Its elevation is between 630-645m above the sea level. As of January 1, 2013 the population of the city constitutes of 52,000 residents. The city emerged on the site of Nurek village in 1960 as a result of construction of the Nurek hydropower plant. Modern Nurek is a nice and peaceful city with beautiful nature, soft climate and fresh air. Surrounded by mountains, the city of power engineers Nurek is magnificently beautiful in the evenings, when multitudinous lights from the houses illuminate the mountain gorge.
The main pride of Nurek is the record in the Guinness Book – the world’s tallest man-made dam — which stands at the Nurek hydropower plant and is also known as one of the thirty most powerful hydroelectric stations in the world. Nurek hydropower plant built on the Vakhsh River is the largest hydropower plant in Central Asia with a generating capacity of 3000 MW (nine turbines of 335 MW each) and annual electric power production of 11.2 billion kW-h. The power plant was designed in 1950s and its construction commenced in 1961. The construction of the station was pronounced an all-Soviet Union top-priority project. The station began functioning in 1972 and the last unit was put into operation in 1979.
The dam’s height is 300m, which makes it the world tallest man-made dam with a surface area of 98 km2, a capacity of 10.5 km3, and a length of about 70 km. Water from the reservoir is used not only for electricity generation, but is also directed through a special tunnel for irrigation of agricultural lands.
Nurek hydropower plant generates about three quarters of the electricity produced in the country and is the flagship of the energy sector in Tajikistan.