KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani on February 6 officially inaugurated the work on the CASA-1000 electricity transmission project, one of the largest power projects in the Central Asia region, which will transfer surplus electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.
Speaking at the ceremony, 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 Sharofiddin Imomov 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.
Afghan Minister of Economy Mustafa Mastoor said that “The political impacts of the project are larger than its economic impact and this will help to boost cooperation between the nations”.
“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 Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan.
The CASA-1000 project will start from Kyrgyzstan and reach Afghanistan through Tajikistan and onward to Pakistan’s Peshawar city. The length of the project in Afghanistan is estimated to be 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’s territory.