ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and countries participating in the US-backed Casa-1,000 megawatt (MW) project are set to sign the initial deal in Istanbul, Turkey.
Sources told The Express Tribune that State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali and additional secretary left for Istanbul on Thursday to ink the deal.
“Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are to sign different agreements on financial, technical and legal matters,” sources familiar with the development said. “This will be followed by a deal in Washington on the Casa-1,000MW power import project.”
According to sources in Tajik Embassy, the Casa-1,000MW power import project will help Pakistan get cheaper and cleaner energy to minimise electricity shortages and build close economic relations with neighbours Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. They said that the project was feasible despite the law and order situation in Afghanistan, and will help demonstrate its viability as a transit country linking the two regions.
Among other sectors of the economy, the energy sector of Tajikistan had showed sustainable growth in the last 15 years. During this period, hydro energy generation has remained stable. In addition to big plants, sources said that there were also 20 medium and 40 small hydro stations in the remote areas, with capacity ranging from 5 kilowatt (kwt) to 1,500kwt.
Tajik embassy said that the country was the world’s third largest producer of hydroelectric power after the US and Russia. Hydroelectric generation accounts for 76% of the total energy output in the country. In Pakistan, the rate for firm energy is 13.2 US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and the rate for non-firm is 9.2 cents per kWh, while the generation cost in Afghanistan is estimated to be at least 6 cents per kWh based on the provided information. The economic analysis shows that the level cost of transmission is calculated at 4.97 cents/kWh.
The total estimated cost of the project is $1.160 billion, which would be financed by the World Bank and Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2014.