New power line to connect Afghan Puli-Khumri and Tajik hydroelectric plant

A high voltage power line from Puli-Khumri to a Sangtuda GES-1 hydroelectric plant substation in Tajikistan is under construction in Afghanistan.

Siyavush Mekhtan

2009-03-23

DUSHANBE — A high voltage power line from Puli-Khumri to a Sangtuda GES-1 hydroelectric plant substation in Tajikistan is under construction in Afghanistan. India’s KEC International and RPG Transmission won an international tender for the Afghan-Tajik project to build the 120-kilometer power line. Afghanistan’s Energy and Water Resource Ministry is the contractor. The Indian companies must complete the project by May 2010. The project, financed by the Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, the OPEC Fund and the government of Tajikistan, will cost an estimated US$109.5 million.

Head of energy policy at Tajikistan’s Energy and Industry Ministry, Abdullo Kurbonov, said work in Tajikistan on the project would begin by mid-year. The power line will stretch about 100 kilometers from the Sangtuda substation to the Afghan border. The 200-kilovolt Sangtuda – Puli-Khumri power line will eventually be connected to Turkmenistan’s energy systems to create a separate energy ring.

Under agreements between the Tajik and Afghan governments, Afghanistan will buy up to 300 megawatts of electricity from Tajikistan each year starting in 2010. Tajikistan has an energy surplus during the summer months exceeding 2 billion kilowatt/hours.

Tajikistan’s Energy and Industry Ministry said two 500-kilovolt power lines will later be built from Tajikistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and Iran. Iran’s Mushonir has completed a feasibility study of the project for a 500-kilovolt power line from Sangtuda to Kunduz-Great in Afghanistan and from there to Meshkhed in Iran that will be 1,100 kilometers long. Power authorities of the three countries are already coordinating sources of financing and the start date for the project.

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