In a meeting with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday, Uzbekistan’s Special Representative to Afghanistan Ismatilla Irgashev said his country has decided to reduce the electricity prices from the current 8.5 cents a unit to 5 cents a unit.
“Ismatilla Irgashev, Uzbekistan’s special envoy to Afghanistan in his meeting with the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan pledged to reduce the current 8.5 cents electricity price to 5 cents and the new prices will come in to effect from July,” the presidential palace said in a statement on Monday.
According to the statement, another 1,000 megawatts of power will come through Uzbekistan’s Surkhan region to Baghlan province to Kabul, which will help overcome electricity shortages.
“In recent months, seven provinces across the country were supplied with electricity, in Badghis province, the price of electricity from 35 Afs per kilowatt was reduced to 6 Afs while in Ghazni province, the price of electricity has been reduced by 75.6 percent,” the statement said.
“It is important to mention that a 70 megawatt transmission line will be connected to Jalalabad while the actual capacity of the line is about 300 megawatts. To some extent electricity shortages have also been resolved in northern provinces and the logistical process of supplying electricity to the central regions of the country is in the implementation phase,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, officials of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) have welcomed the move by Uzbekistan, saying the process will have a significant impact on electricity prices in the country.
Currently, Afghanistan imports 300 megawatts of electricity from Uzbekistan.
“In the middle of 2018, the price of electricity will be reduced from 7.5 cents to 5 cents and this will enable us to purchase the 300 megawatts of electricity at 5 cents,” said DABS spokesman Wahidullah Tawhidi.
Economic commentators have said the decision by Uzbekistan to reduce the electricity prices will also open a new phase of rivalry among power exporters in the region.