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KABUL (TCA) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on July 26 traveled to Badghis province where he inaugurated a much-needed power transmission line from neighboring Turkmenistan and a substation, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

The 110 kilovolt power line transmits 16 megawatts of imported power from Rabat Kashan in Turkmenistan to the center of Badghis province in Afghanistan over a distance of 52 km.

The project has cost $14 million, local officials said. Work on the project started in December 2010 but was delayed on numerous occasions.

The construction of the substation, which was initially contracted out to an Iranian company, was eventually finished by a local firm.

At least 7,000 families in Qala-e-Naw city, the provincial capital, will benefit from this power, while another 10,000 families in Qades, Muqur and Ab Kamari districts will get the electricity in the near future.

The vast majority of Badghis residents have not had power until now – except for a few who used thermal power at 40 AFs per kilowatt.

“With the inauguration of the substation, the price of power in Badghis for each kilowatt has dropped to 6 AFs from 40 AFs (per kilowatt),” Ghani said at the inauguration event in the province.

Meanwhile, a memorandum of understanding was signed at the event on Thursday between acting minister of energy and water and the minister of energy of Turkmenistan Döwran Rejepow for a 110 kilovolt power transmission line from Ata Murad in Turkmenistan to Khum Ab and Qarqin districts in Jawzjan. Two substations will also be built in the province.

“I firmly believe that with the strengthening of friendly ties and extending of cooperation between the two countries, we will be able to ensure improvement in different sectors and meanwhile it will help improve people’s lives,” Rejepow said.

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