After years of negotiations, four countries, including Pakistan, signed an agreement on Central Asia-South Asia (CASA-1000) in Istanbul, according to which the price of electricity to be imported from Tajikistan will be 9.35 cents per unit. According an official announcement, hydel energy agreement between Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan was signed Wednesday.
The project, known as the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000), will help export 1000 MW of clean energy to Pakistan at a price of 9.35 cents including all charges. Pakistan’s Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif led the Pakistani delegation while the Tajik delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister and Afghan and Kyrgyz delegations were led by their respective energy ministers.
Official sources told Business Recorder, State Department and USAID have played a key role in the resolution of different issues amongst the stakeholders.
However, the project cannot be executed until peace returns to Afghanistan. Stakeholders are supposed to sign agreements with the warlords in Afghanistan to make the project a success. According to analysts, financing of project is also a gigantic task as Asian Development Bank (ADB) has already backed out from its earlier commitment of financing.
CASA-1000 project is scheduled for completion by 2018 under the umbrella of the World Bank. Tajikistan’s share in the energy export will be 70% while Kyrgyzstan exports will account for 30%. Afghanistan will consume 300 MW of the exported energy while Pakistan will receive 1000 MW of electricity. The project is forecast to boost energy trade in the region that will lead to sustainable development.
The official announcement further said that although conceived long ago, the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the initiative to expedite the project and convened a meeting of Inter-Governmental Council of CASA-1000 in September 2013 in Islamabad that discussed various aspects of the project. Subsequent follow-up consultations ultimately led to the conclusion of the historic agreement in Istanbul.
When contacted, Additional Secretary Incharge Ministry of Water and Power Younus Dagha, who was also part of the Pakistani team, said that the landed cost of electricity will be Rs 10.40 per unit. In reply to another question, he said that Pakistan’s share in investment will be $292 million. Answering another question, he said that the Pakistani team led by Minister for Water and Power played a pivotal role to develop consensus amongst the stakeholders. He said Pakistan is working on a number of power sector projects to resolve power crisis in the country as early as possible.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT