PUGUS (Tajikistan): Leaders of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan met on Thursday to review the progress on energy project CASA-1000 worth $1.2 billion.

It will allow the export of 1,300 megawatts of electricity from Central Asia to Afghanistan and Pakistan by 2018.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Sooronbay Jeenbekov attended the meeting.

Mr Sharif termed CASA-1000 will bring a number of economic, social and environmental benefits to the four countries.

He said it will reduce the energy deficit, create jobs, improve trade and reduce carbon emissions besides contributing to regional integration.

“We must make efforts to ensure that the project is completed well in time,” the prime minister said.

“It will promote cooperation between energy-deficient South Asia and energy-rich Central Asia,” he said.

He expressed the hope that CASA-1000 will not only bring revenues to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, but also mitigate electricity shortages in Pakistan and Afghanistan. “We need energy for socio-economic development,” he said.

Mr Sharif said five major companies have submitted bids for convertor stations to be set up at the end of the transmission line.

He said tenders had been floated for transmission lines from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan and from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and were currently being evaluated.

Tajikistan’s share in the energy export will be 70 per cent while that of Kyrgyzstan will be 30pc. Afghanistan will consume 300MW of the exported energy while Pakistan will receive 1,000MW.

The 750-kilometre-long transmission line from Tajikistan will pass through Afghanistan. The transmission line originating from the Kyrgyz substation at Datka will run through Tajikistan’s substations of Sughda, Dushanbe, Regar and Sangtuda and then pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan with a converter station at Nowshera.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2017

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