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Afghanistan Signs Contract for Electricity Supplies From Central Asia

Jul 03, 2007 - BBC Monitoring South Asia

Mohammad Esmail [Khan], the minister of water and power, while singing the contract for survey of the Kokcha and Konar dams, has announced that 1,000 MW of electricity will be imported from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in the near future to overcome electricity problems in Kabul.

According to Rah-e Nejat's economic team, Mohammad Esmail, while explaining his visit to and singing of contracts with Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and in near future with Tajikistan and the supply of electricity to Kabul and other cities along they way said: "In total 1,000 MW electricity would be imported from these countries."

In addition, he revealed that 70 per cent of work on construction of transmission lines from Uzbekistan to Hayratan and Kabul had been completed. The minister said that the 500 kW transmission line from Turkmenistan would also have the capacity to transfer 1,000 MW of electricity. Initially it would transfer 100 MW of electricity.

Esmail Khan said that Turkmenistan would pay for the transmission lines in that country. He pointed out that 450 km of transmission line will be situated in Turkmenistan and 200 km in Afghanistan.

The water and power minister said the contract for technical survey of the Kokcha and Konar dams signed with the Indian BEC company at a cost of 3m dollars was important in harnessing the waters of these two rivers to improve agriculture in Badakhshan and Konar provinces and to provide additional 2,450 MW electricity. He added that capacity survey of dams showed that the Kokcha dam has the capacity of 2,000 MW electricity production and the Konar dam has the capacity of 350 to 450 MW electricity.

Regarding the reconstruction of Atashan canal in Pashtun Zarghun District of Herat Province with a cost of 89m afghanis, the minister said it was another positive step towards reconstruction process and said after completion of the Atashan canal project, 6,800 hectares of land would come under systematic irrigation programme.

It is worth mentioning that the Projects Coordination Directorate of the Water and Power Ministry implemented 67 canal construction projects with the cost of 492m afghanis and brought 75,000 hectares of land under irrigation.

The technical survey of the Kokcha and Konar dam projects will be completed in 18 months. (c) 2007 BBC Monitoring South Asia.

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