Pakistan to buy power from Russia, Turkmenistan

Published: August 20, 2016
Though electricity demand dropped in winter in Pakistan, it would follow the merit order, shut down expensive plants and give preference to imports from Russia and Turkmenistan to meet domestic needs. PHOTO: FILE

Though electricity demand dropped in winter in Pakistan, it would follow the merit order, shut down expensive plants and give preference to imports from Russia and Turkmenistan to meet domestic needs. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has accepted the offers of Russia and Turkmenistan that are eager to join the Central Asia-South Asia (Casa) 1,000 power supply project designed to connect the two regions through an energy corridor.

Earlier, Russia and Turkmenistan had approached Pakistan, showing interest in exporting electricity to energy-starved Pakistan through the transmission line of Casa-1,000 project in winter when other sources would not be supplying electricity, a senior government official said.

CASA-1,000 project: Central, South Asia to finalise contract for converter stations

Casa-1,000 is a pilot project that will not only help ease outages in Pakistan by bringing clean energy from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, but will also pave the way for other nations to export their surplus electricity.

Under the project, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will supply 1,000 to 1,300 megawatts to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Islamabad will consume a major chunk whereas Kabul will receive around 300MW.

Tajikistan’s energy sector has been showing sustainable growth for the last 15 years. Apart from big plants, there are 20 medium and 40 small hydroelectric power stations in the remote mountainous areas, with capacity ranging from 5 to 1,500 kilowatts.

Hydroelectric power accounts for 76% of the total energy output in Tajikistan.

The Casa-1,000 project envisions supply of surplus electricity available in summer months (May 1 to September 30) from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. To utilise the full capacity, an open access regime has been adopted which allows other countries to join in and inject energy into the Casa transmission line.

“Pakistan is keen to utilise idle capacity of the transmission line from October to April with the import of electricity from Russia and Turkmenistan,” the official said.

CASA-1000 power project

“Apart from ensuring power supply throughout the year, this will also bring down transmission charges. Pakistan has conveyed its willingness to the two countries for power purchase from them.”

Russia is rich in hydroelectric power and gas-based electricity whereas Turkmenistan produces a significant volume of gas-based power. However, how much electricity they are willing to provide is not yet known.

Though electricity demand dropped in winter in Pakistan, it would follow the merit order, shut down expensive plants and give preference to imports from Russia and Turkmenistan to meet domestic needs, the official said.

The creation of Casa electricity market includes a phased development of infrastructure to utilise Central Asia’s power resources to meet the growing demand and address shortages in South Asia.

The energy linkages also offer an opportunity to contribute to stability and growth in Afghanistan and boost inter-dependent prosperity in all relevant countries.

A revised plan includes the setting up of two converter stations in Tajikistan with a separate high voltage direct current (HVDC) back-to-back connection in Afghanistan on an existing 220-kilovolt line.

CASA-1,000 power project: European firms vying to set up converter stations

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved a tariff of 9.41 cents per unit (kilowatt-hour) for electricity import from Central Asia including energy cost at 5.15 cents, transmission charges at 2.91 cents, Afghan transit fee at 1.25 cents and wheeling charges for Tajikistan at 0.10 cent.

According to officials, Pakistan is currently importing 73MW from Iran to meet the needs of Gwadar. The cost of electricity import from Iran is 6.25 cents per unit, which is higher than 5.15 cents to be paid to Tajikistan.

The cost is higher because of oil and gas-based power generation in Iran while Tajikistan will bank on cheaper hydroelectric power.

The total cost of electricity purchase from Iran amounts to 10.60 cents per unit, according to data collected by Nepra for May 2016.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Russian
    Aug 20, 2016 - 10:15AM

    Do remember we don’t do charity like Americans. We need hard cash in dollars upfront. Recommend

  • Apoorv Swarup
    Aug 20, 2016 - 10:18AM

    Now that India is an electricity surplus country, might make a lot of economic sense for Pakistan too to purchase power at low costs. About 6000MW of surplus power at the time of riting this comment

  • Genius_US
    Aug 20, 2016 - 10:45AM

    @Apoorv, please try to speak truth. Last week some members of my offshore team in India didn’t join meetings due continuous power load shedding.Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Aug 20, 2016 - 11:26AM

    Pakistan has all the energy capacities to meet its demand. Pakistani just don’t pay the bill.. Pakistanis are very found two words… Circular Debt which is accumulation of unpaid bills. How the energy could be transported from Afghanistan…Recommend

  • Asim
    Aug 20, 2016 - 1:46PM

    @Apoorv Swarup @Russian @Chacha Jee @Genius_US Don’t you have time for something positive to do instead of polluting Pakistani websites. Looks like you are paid a hefty loft of money for this.Recommend

  • Menon
    Aug 20, 2016 - 2:20PM

    With what?

    IMF and World Bank is not loaning more money!Recommend

  • qbc
    Aug 20, 2016 - 4:00PM

    Why do we not get electricity from Iran they have been offering us oil and gas plus electricity for a very long time.Recommend

  • ramdar
    Aug 20, 2016 - 5:15PM

    @Genius India has surplus capacity but shortfall in production. The available capacity is not being used fully by many plants because the cost of production for them is higher than the selling rate imposed by our politicians.These plants would be too happy to export at the international rates being mentioned. Also there could be problem of infrastructure, transmission capacity.
    Bangladesh is planning to buy power from India on a larger scale. Recommend

  • Bilal Majeed
    Aug 20, 2016 - 5:46PM

    lots of Indians trolls here
    they don’t have something productive to do back home (india) jobless maybe so they start polluting our websitesRecommend

  • Tyggar
    Aug 20, 2016 - 5:51PM

    What about the famed Djinn Power as proposed by the brilliant Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood?Recommend

    Aug 20, 2016 - 6:01PM

    @Asim, These Indian have nothing to do, except commenting no our news sites! I dont know what they gain of interfering in our country issuesRecommend

  • curious2
    Aug 20, 2016 - 6:33PM

    You don’t get this electricity without the cooperation of Afghanistan – yet your providing sanctuary/assistance to the terrorist who are trying to over throw Afghan government. Doesn’t make much sense to me. Recommend

  • Shuaib
    Aug 20, 2016 - 7:59PM

    Thar coal is less than 5-6 cents. What is wrong with PK? Wasting billions to import from CA? We could have used that money for other things!Recommend

  • Kulbhushan yadav
    Aug 20, 2016 - 11:34PM

    If you wish to lie, then be smart. Assuming your offshore team is in one of the metro cities in India, none of them has load shedding of hours. But if your company is very cheap and has offshore location in Bihar or UP, it may be different then.Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Aug 21, 2016 - 9:25AM

    @Asim: All are paid Indians to do mischiefRecommend

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