AKIPRESS.COM – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani laid foundation stone Thursday for building a key transmission line linking Central Asia and South Asia under a four-nation electricity generation project, known as CASA-1000.
The $1.2 billion plan aims to bring some 300 megawatts (MW) annually of much-needed electricity to Afghanistan and 1,000 MW to Pakistan from surplus generation in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The project is being financed by multilateral development banks, the United States and other countries, VoA reports.
Afghan officials said diplomats from the participating nations also were present at the groundbreaking site, east of the capital, Kabul.
Ghani was quoted as saying the CASA-1000 project would go a long way toward promoting connectivity, energy cooperation and prosperity in all of the countries involved.
Thursday’s landmark development comes as relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to suffer from mutual suspicions and a trust deficit. The tensions stem from allegations Islamabad provides support to the Afghan Taliban and Kabul harbors anti-Pakistan militants.
Islamabad recently has asked Tajikistan to revise certain clauses in the agreement under CASA-1000 project so surplus Pakistani electricity could be exported through the same transmission line, bringing much needed energy to people in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan during the harsh winters when they typically have an energy deficit.
CASA-1000 is a major power project that will transfer 300 megawatts of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to TOLO News.
The CASA-1000 project will include:
• 500 kV AC line from Datka (in the Kyrgyz Republic) to Sugd-500 (477 kilometers away, in Tajikistan)
• 1,300 megawatt AC-DC Converter Station at Sangtuda (Tajikistan)
• 750-kilometer High Voltage DC line from Sangtuda (Tajikistan) to Nowshera (Pakistan)
• 1,300 megawatt DC-AC Converter Station at Nowshera
The CASA-1000 project will start from Kyrgyzstan and it will reach Afghanistan through Tajikistan and onward to Pakistan’s Peshawar city. The length of the project in Afghanistan is estimated to eventually run for 562 km.
With the implementation of the project, 1300 megawatts of electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be transmitted to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghanistan will receive 300 megawatts of power and the remaining one thousand megawatts will be transmitted to Pakistan via Afghanistan territory.