Construction of convertor station under CASA project begins

Published April 4, 2021
The convertor station is one of the major parts of the 1,270km High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission line originating in Kyrgyzstan and ending in KP. — AFP/File
The convertor station is one of the major parts of the 1,270km High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission line originating in Kyrgyzstan and ending in KP. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The work for the construction of a convertor station of Central Asia-South Asia power project — commonly known as CASA-1000 — was formally launched at Azakhel Bala, Nowshera.

The convertor station is one of the major parts of the 1,270km High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission line originating in Kyrgyzstan and ending in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa via Tajikistan and Afghanistan (Torkham border) to transport 1,300MW hydel power in direct current (DC) mode and add it to the national grid after converting it into alternate current (AC) at the convertor station.

“Pakistan has already started work on laying its 113km-long portion of the total 1,270km HVDC line. The boundary wall of the convertor station has also been completed. And now the project to construct/establish the convertor station has been initiated by the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor,” a senior official of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) told Dawn when contacted.

1,300MW of Kyrgyz hydel power will be transported to Pakistan

The work on the $1.6 billion CASA-1000 project was launched about five years ago to export Kyrgyzstan’s and Tajikistan’s surplus hydel power generation to Afghanistan and Pakistan in summer (from May to September) — high-demand months. “Our 113km-long HVDC line portion will be completed in 2023. The convertor station will be completed in 2024,” the official said, adding that cost of the Pakistan’s component (113km-long HVDC line and the convertor station) is $205 million. “The line and convertor station are being funded by the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank, respectively,” he said.

Meanwhile, the contract-signing ceremony for construction of convertor station was held at the site wherein the project was taken over by the EPC contractor M/s ABB/Cobra (Joint Venture) to launch construction activities.

The ceremony was attended by the senior officers of Power Division, CASA-1000 Secretariat team, consultant, contractor and the NTDC team. The project will ensure transmission of 1,300MW from Tajikistan to Pakistan during summer season and will help maintain the required voltage level and to meet the increasing load demand of the country.

“For this purpose, the work on laying all portions of the 1,270-km-long transmission line is also underway. The NTDC’s 113km-long portion starts from Torkham border,” reads a press release issued by an NTDC spokesman.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2021

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