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Pakistan to get power transmission line from Central Asia via Afghanistan

May 9, 2006 - APP, Pakistan

Islamabad - Minister for Water and Power Liaquat Ali Jatoi on Tuesday [May 9,2006] said Central Asian Republic States (CARs) Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan expressed their willingness on installation of transmission line from Kabul to Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference here after the conclusion of two-day Central Asian-South Asian Electricity Trade conference, the minister said that Afghanistan in this regard agreed to provide transit for power trade.

He said the countries agreed to form a working group to move the process forward. "We all have agreed that we will go for integrated electricity trade between the countries."

Jatoi said: "There was two options - one was passing of transmission line through Wahkhan Border and other was through Kabul-Jalalabad."

He said unanimously the members have decided that the Kabul and Jalalabad option was more suitable as acceptable to Afghan government.

Jatoi said they (Afghanistan government) will be there to look after the security and maintenance of transmission line. "Not only this if they need to have power, they will get supply from transmission line," the minister said.

He appreciated the positive approach of Afghan minister for giving permission of passing of transmission line from his country to Pakistan.

He said the Kygryz government has also shown interest that they would sell electricity to Pakistan and Afghanistan. "This is a win-win situation. We want to bring benefits to common man because if there is economic activity and economic prosperity, it will be shared by people of these countries."

According to conference decisions, the first phase of the trade is to import 1000 MW from Tajikistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan and develop the necessary physical infrastructure, such as the transmission line and institutional and legal frame work in the shortest possible time.

Surplus power from Kyrgyz republic can also be transmitted through this transmission line by suitable interconnections.

Jatoi said International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like World Bank, USAID, US Energy, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Bank and Japanese have given their full assurance and support regarding electricity trade.

He added the World Bank on behalf of all IFIs renewed its commitment that through IFIs they will be going ahead with this project.