Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday officially inaugurated the work on the CASA-1000 hydro power project, one of the biggest power projects in the region, which will transfer 300 megawatts of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Ghani said that the project was a step forward towards changing Afghanistan into a hub of energy transit in the region.
“Economic cooperation is in the interest of all member countries, our vision is to transform Afghanistan into a crossroads of energy transit in the region,” said Ghani at the event.
At the ceremony, Tajikistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan Imomov Sharofiddin said that implementation of the project will help promote political and economic stability in Afghanistan.
“In the future, we plan the CASA-1000 will run from Badakhshan towards the Chitral region of Pakistan. This will help Afghanistan to change as a safe transit bridge and a connecting point between the countries in the region, particularly between Central Asia and South Asia,” said the Tajik ambassador.
“Besides the transit money, an additional $2 million will be raised for a fund that will be created by the exporters. The money from the fund will be spent on the security of the transmission lines where it passes through,” said Amanullah Ghalib, head of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), Afghanistan’s main power supply company.
Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul, Zahid Nasrullah Khan and Afghan Minister of Economy Mustafa Mastoor were also present at the event.
“The political impacts of the project are larger than its economic impact and this will help to boost cooperation between the nations,” said Mastoor.
Pakistan’s envoy to Afghanistan meanwhile described the project as an important corridor to further boost cooperation in the region.
“This project will bring a great economic boom both to Pakistan and Afghanistan and will not only be an energy corridor but another bond of great friendship between our two brotherly, neighborly countries,” said Pakistani envoy to Kabul Zahid Nasrullah Khan.
Overview of CASA-1000 Project:
CASA-1000 is a major power project that will transfer 300 megawatts of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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.