Afghanistan pays at least $280 million annually to import 670 megawatts of power from Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, according to power company Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS).
But despite the huge expense of imported power, only 35 percent of Afghans have access to electricity, government figures show.
“We import power worth $240 to $280 million annually depending on our capacity,” DABS spokesman Wahidullah Tawhidi said.
The Afghan government and DABS in particular had vowed to increase power to 80 percent of Afghans and to villages, but the target was not reached.
According to the Chamber of Industry and Mines, the country’s industries are also faced with a lack of electricity, which is one of the biggest challenges.
“Kabul has 110 megawatts of power. We (industries) consume 90 megawatts of it but we need a 115 megawatts of power. We need a few hundred megawatts of power for provinces. In some provinces, some factories can operate only six hours a day,” said Rahimullah Samandar, CEO of the chamber.
Kabul has faced an electricity shortage since July, after Tajikistan cut off its exported power due to its own domestic needs.