ISLAMABAD: Tajikistan would export 1,000MW hydel electricity to Pakistan under the ‘Central Asia South Asia’ (CASA-1000) project through a 750-kilometre long transmission line by 2018, at an estimated cost of $1,160 million, said Tajikistan Ambassador to Pakistan Sherali Saidamir Jononov on Friday.
Talking about Pakistan-Tajikistan bilateral relations, the ambassador said, “Pakistan is one of the first countries to recognise Tajikistan as an independent state and both have been enjoying cordial ties since then.”
Elaborating on the CASA-1000 project, he said the said transmission line of 500KV would be utilised for transmitting more than 300MW hydel electricity to Pakistan from another state of Central Asia; Kyrgyzstan. “The feasibility report has already been completed and working on the laying of transmission line from Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan would begin from May this year.
“Only Tajikistan can export more than 5000MW electricity to Pakistan through hydel projects, especially in the summer season,” said Jononov, adding that another transmission line of the same capacity of 500KV from Tajikistan to Pakistan via Wakhan Strip bordering Afghanistan would also begin shortly.
Jononov, concerning the current status of the project, said that a joint commission of both countries was working on the implementation of CASA-1,000MW projects and its upcoming meeting would be held next week in Dushanbe.
“The estimated cost of the project is $1,160 million, as per the feasibility study, finalised with the support of the World Bank. Financing from IDA (World Bank) Islamic Development Bank, Arab Group and other donors is under consideration.”
“A ‘Multi-Donor Trust Fund’ was also being established for this project,” he added.
Moreover, he said the recent visit of Tajikistan President Imomali Rahmon to Pakistan was successful and it has opened a number of new avenues.
“The trade volume is gaining momentum between the two and would be increased to $500 million within next two years. Exhibitions are also being planned to achieve this goal.”
During the visit of President of Tajikistan, leadership of both countries agreed on the importance of air connectivity for the promotion of people to people contacts, economic relations and tourism.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2016.