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Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic sign a resolution in the two-day meeting of the inter-governmental council of central Asia South Asia (CASA) transmission and trade project in Islamabad on Monday. – INP Photo
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic sign a resolution in the two-day meeting of the inter-governmental council of central Asia South Asia (CASA) transmission and trade project in Islamabad on Monday. – INP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday signed a resolution to import 1300 MW electricity from Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic) and Tajikistan to overcome power shortage in summer season.

The resolution was singed by the four countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic in the two-day meeting of the inter-governmental council of central Asia South Asia (CASA) transmission and trade project, started here.

The proposed project has been abbreviated as CASA-1000 and its transmission facilities would maximize the use of 1300MW renewable summer electricity surplus from existing plants in Central Asia-Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan and provide electricity to consumers in South Asian countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan both generate surplus of electricity from hydropower during the summer while these countries suffer electricity shortages during their cold winters. Thus part of the summer electricity cannot be stored and this surplus cannot be used during their cold winters and the toll on their citizens is enormous.

Thus, import of electricity would only be from surplus summer generation of the two countries which is otherwise wasted and would not impact winter generation or make shortage worse.

The project includes-500 kv line Datka-Khudjand (477km) with Tajik network transferring Kyrgyz exports to Sangtuda, 1300 MW AC-DC converter station at Sangtuda, 750 km HVDC line Sangtuda-Kabul-Peshawar,300 MW Converter station at Kabul with import and export capability and then 1300 MW DC-AC converter station would be set up at Peshawar.

Talking to APP, Advisor to prime minister on Energy Dr Musadaq Malik said work on the project would start in 2014 and complete in 2-3 years to add 1300 MW to the national grid and provide cheaper electricity to the country's consumers at summer season.

Replying to a question regarding the security issue, he said security issues exist in the KPK and Balochistan but the project would be protected, adding across the boarder, Afghanistan has provided sovereign guaranty to guard and protect the transmission line.

He said the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Gulf Coordination Group would support the CASA-1000.

In opening remarks, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif remarked, “the project will bring in clean and affordable hydroelectricity to our energy starved national grid, an energy mix that is at our priority list.”

He said it was a challenging project but it was very much attainable if the good will of the four nations continued in the same manner as was evident today.

“We will be reaping fruit in the form of 1227 km transmission line extending from Kyrgyz Republic to Tajikistan, passing through Afghanistan and finally reaching Pakistan.”

Asif said electricity shortage was one of the biggest challenges for Pakistan where nation was subjected to long hours of loadshedding and the deficit of electricity had been reaching around 5000 MW.

Later, Afghanistan Minister for Energy and Water Al-Haj Mohammad Esmail, talking to media persons, said the project would further strengthen ties between the four countries and would help boost their economies.

Replying to a question, he said each partner had to play role to protect the transmission line, passing through their part.

Comments (18) Closed

MH Sep 17, 2013 03:34am

Why not Iran? We would run a much shorter power line which would mean less line-loss and a shorter line to be secured.

Saeed Ahmrd Sep 17, 2013 07:28am

Consistent and focussed efforts by the present Government will bring the fruits and the common man will be benefited. Otherwise the situation will get worst as it is happening from the last 63 year's.

Zia ur rehman Sep 17, 2013 09:48am

As mentioned in the news that electricity will not be available during winter season. Moreover the transmission line will be passing through the most volatile regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan plus the completion of the project will occur in case present government completes its lawful five years tenure...An unwise step by the government .....

Zaira Sep 17, 2013 10:02am

This is an well appreciated move initiated by Pakistani Government to get rid of electricity shortage from the country. To solve the electricity short fall is one of the foremost priority of the current government. They started to work in all directions to give relief to people from electricity short fall. In addition, a joint venture of four states certainly gives boost to regional cooperation and harmony which certainly improved the way for further collaboration.

Ahsan Ali Sep 17, 2013 11:31am

Project is definitely a good initiative but depending on the fragile economy of Pakistan, this is notable that they cannot afford any more conditional loans or burdens on foreign payables. Increasing energy to 1300 MW can meet deficit but aftermath can bring economic liabilities pending.

Tayyab Sep 17, 2013 01:47pm

@Zia ur rehman: I'm not a big fan of Nawaz League neither I voted for them. But on the face of it, this looks like a good plan. Govt has to take long-term and short-term measures and try from every possible/cheap way to solve the electricity shortfall issue. Please note that macro-economic planning and measures need a vision and far sightedness. You have to admit that electricity problem cannot be completely solved within the tenure of Nawaz, it'll prolong. But what do we expect being common citizen of this state is, a relief, and a gradual improvement with electricity situation and not what we saw under Zardar's regime.

Zia Sep 17, 2013 03:21pm

@Tayyab: Brother i belong to the northern areas of pakistan. we have multiple feasibility reports suggesting generation of cheap hydro electricity. Afghanistan will be undergoing landmark changes in the coming year as NATO forces have called it a day and decided to pull out forces from there. I am not at all a supporter of any political party and have no affiliation with any of them.. This project if undergoes will be subjected to multiple issues with the protection of power line being the top one....

yasir Sep 17, 2013 04:28pm

This agreement is a milestone for energy starving Pakistan. Though there are economical and financial concerns for Pakistan but its dire need of time to initiate such kind of comprehensive plan to meet futuristic challenges. In coming years, Pakistan will further face energy problems. Hence, it is more important for Pakistan to go for renewable energy projects as well as small hydro projects to counter the energy issues.

Ravi from Pune Sep 17, 2013 07:38pm

How Pakistan will pay them??

Shami Sep 17, 2013 08:36pm

Pakistan is in dire need for electricity. International community especially Indian has always compelled Pakistan to increase its defence budget and to divert its resources for arms procurement. Now Pakistan has a great chance to move towards clean energy of nuclear power. But international community is creating hurdles by negotiating controversial nuclear deal with India.

Azam Qadeer Sep 18, 2013 06:21am

We have plenty of water and other source Chashma area almost 80% work is done by nature and 20 % we have do do to make big Hydro plant but unfortunately we can not move forward on this project this product is must if not we will also havign food issue Pakistan is Agri Base and we must have plenty of water to manage our agriculture. if Chasma plant in stall we can benefit both way also all the way from Karachi almost 300 KM plenty of wind specially Lake near Thatta also can because for Hydro we must invest more in Pakistan also small hydo can be setup in Chianwali Dist Gujranwala and many other places in short time

Ali Wadood Sep 18, 2013 08:26am

I read that the Punjab govt, is trying to use garbage as fuel, what about that, there is a lot and i bet will overcome the power shortage if used. How about using some other orthodoxe method.

Pakistani Sep 18, 2013 11:15am

Pakistan should consider Pak Iran gas pipe line.

Rao Sep 18, 2013 04:56pm

@MH: India can sell electricity at much lower prices. So why doe'snt Pakistan buy it from India?

Omar Faruk Ahmed Sep 18, 2013 06:29pm

How can it be a good deal when the land of a third country is being used??? Especially when that that third country was, is and will remain in turmoil. Afghanistan, as we know, has an anti-Pakistan and a pro-Indian government. Any standoff with India may result in Pakistan being deprived of this electricity. Even if this is issue is covered in the MoU signed with the governments, who would stop the terrorists from blowing up the Electric pylons or the grid stations as it is expected to happen with so much Al-Qaida and TTA operating in Afghanistan. And in the end we would continue to pay the Afghan government for using its land for transferring electricity to Pakistan. If buying electricity was so important then why didnt we look towards our time tested friend China? or even Iran??? I dont know what has prompted this government to sign this agreement wit the two countries but it is quiet obvious that this is not a feasable deal. Moreover I think its time we focus on building own dams. We should resolve the dispute over Kalabagh and speed up work Bhasha dam. These short term measures would not help Pakistan in the future...

nabil Sep 18, 2013 10:12pm

i commend this agreement between four countries,but i would have been more commendable if Hydro projects were pushed through for completion and these were projected for completion well before date given for importing,it amounts to more burden on tax payer. Our beurocrats are shortsighted have no vision.

someguy Sep 18, 2013 10:34pm

@MH: Because of constant American indulgence and complaints to not do business with Iran!

ohsama Sep 19, 2013 06:16am

@MH: because they are Shias