August 5, 2008

Pakistan Signs Power Import Deal With Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan

Text of report headlined "Pact signed for power import from CARs" by Pakistani newspaper Daily Times website on 5 August

[by Zafar Bhutta]

Islamabad: Pakistan will sign a commercial agreement with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan by November 30 that would enable the initiation of construction work on a 1000-megawatt power import project from the Central Asian Republics (CAR), sources said on Monday [4 August].

They said the drafts of the agreement would be revised by September 2, 2008.

Sources said that all the stakeholders have agreed that Pakistan would import electricity from the CARs for only six months each year, during the summer season from April to September, to bridge the gap of power shortfall.

Power supply to Pakistan is expected to start by the year 2013.

Agreement: An Inter-governmental agreement was signed in this regard on Monday between Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan.

Federal Minister for Water and Power Pervez Ashraf, Afghanistan's Energy and Water Minister Ismail Khan, Kyrgyz Republic Minister for Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources Saparbek Balkibekov and Republic of Tajikistan's State Committee for Investment and State Property Management Chairman Farrukh Hamralie signed on behalf of their respective governments. The agreement was signed after a meeting discussed ways to resolve the legal, technical and financial issues of the project.

Financing: The initial total cost of the project has been estimated at 935m dollars and would be provided by a consortium of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank. Sources said the meeting had agreed on the threshold price of 744m dollars set for bidding process for installing the two transmission lines, and added that the 750-km, 500KV high voltage line between Tajikistan and Pakistan via Kabul would cost 574m dollars.

Sources said the meeting agreed on installing two transmission lines and added that a 750-km, 500KV line between Tajikistan and Pakistan via Kabul would cost 574m dollars.

They said the other transmission line, also of 500KV and stretching 477-Km from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan would cost 200m dollars. Sources said that it had also been agreed that Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan would decide about the latter transmission line by August 31. Ashraf said that there would be no security issue in Afghanistan that could create hurdles for the project and added that it would be commissioned by the year 2013.

He termed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) a broad agreement and a firm commitment to move ahead.

The minister said that under the agreement, 1300MW of electricity would be imported from the CARs out of which Pakistan would receive 1000MW and Afghanistan 300MW.

He said that Pakistan needed electricity in industrial, agriculture and domestic sectors to boost up the economy and the government was committed to provide these facilities to the people

Talking to reporters, Ismail Khan said that the total cost of the project had been estimated at 935m dollars and investment in Afghanistan would amount to 350m dollars. He said that 560 Km of transmission lines would be laid in Afghanistan and termed the project financially and economically viable.

Originally published by Daily Times website, Lahore, in English 05 Aug 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.