The prime minister’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz said on Sunday that power import through the Casa-1000 electricity transmission project can reach up to 4,000MW.
Aziz’s remarks came a day after Pakistan and Afghanistan signed the agreement on electricity transit fees, in a major step towards energy trading between Central and South Asia.
When completed, Casa-1000 will enable the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to sell their excess hydropower to fill supply gaps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Initially, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan will export 1,300MW. Pakistan will get 1,000MW of power while Afghanistan will receive the remaining 300MW.
“It is a good agreement for energy connectivity of South Asia and Central Asia. It is a big project and it is just the beginning. And when connectivity is done then the power import through this line can reach up to 4000MW,” Aziz told The Express Tribune.
He said Pakistan at present faced a shortfall of 5,000MW to 6,000MW and the 1,000MW would meet only 20% of its requirements. “It is not enough at present but the project is very good as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are installing new plants and Russia also wants to join the project ultimately,” Aziz said.
He called Casa-100 “a good beginning” for the proposed trade agreement among Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. “When the cooperation begins, it will also pave the way for the trade agreement.”
Casa-1000 will build more than 1,200 kilometres of electricity transmission lines and associated substations to transmit excess summer hydropower energy from existing power generation stations in Tajikistan and the Krgyz Republic to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
To oversee the complex, four-country process, an inter-governmental council has been established to supervise the design and implementation of the project, the finance ministry says.
Asked if the agreed price is in line with Pakistan’s proposal, Aziz said the price is reasonable as Afghanistan had earlier asked for 2.5 cents per KW but after a lot of discussions the price has been brought down to 1.25 cents per KW.
TAPI gas pipeline
Speaking about the current status of the multi-billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project, he said negotiations are to resume on the project, as had been discussed on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Dushanbe.
“Turkmenistan is now inviting project leaders for a survey as to who will be prime financiers to arrange money. Feasibility and other required documents have already been prepared. A tender will be floated after finances are arranged. Then the work can start.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2014.