ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, Tajikistan is planning to offer 1,000 megawatts of electricity to Pakistan, in addition to CASA-1,000 power supply project, in an effort to put its surplus energy to use and help Islamabad ease the energy crisis.
Pakistan is already working on Central Asia South Asia 1,000 (CASA-1,000) power import project with Tajikistan and now plans for supply of an additional 1,000MW are being studied for which transmission lines will be laid from Tajikistan to Chitral in northern areas.
“We have the capacity to export an additional 1,000MW of electricity to Pakistan through Chitral route that will help our brotherly country overcome the energy crisis,” Sherali Jononov, the Ambassador of Tajikistan to Pakistan, told The Express Tribune.
“Under this project, transmission lines will pass through a small border area of Afghanistan and reach Chitral, which is 15 km away from Tajikistan border,” a source said.
The project, named “Rogun-Khorog-Vakhan-Chitral” and developed in the early 1990s, had drawn interest from some countries and international financial institutions, which were keen to become part of it, diplomatic sources said.
While working on the project, experts picked a safe route for the construction of power lines in Afghanistan, given the situation prevailing there at that time.
The length of the transmission lines of 765 kilovolts will be 650 km. With their construction, it will be possible to export more than 4 billion kilowatts per hour to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The project is estimated to cost around $240.5 million covering the transmission lines to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Representatives of some interested companies are set to visit Tajikistan to discuss the new proposed transmission lines for power export to Pakistan,” the source said.
The CASA-1,000 project involves construction of transmission lines from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan passing through central regions of Afghanistan, including Kabul, to Pakistan. According to preliminary data, the transmission lines will be spread over 970 km.
The surplus electricity in winter will be delivered to a single grid through the transmission line, construction of which will begin in the near future.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2014.