DUSHANBE - An official ceremony of inauguration of the 220 kV power transmission line from Sangtuda in Tajikistan to Pul-i Khumri in Afghanistan took place on October 27.
Tajik Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov, Afghan Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim, and Afghan Minister of Energy and Water Resources Mohammad Ismail Khan attended the ceremony in the Tajik southern Khatlon province, where the Sangtuda hydroelectric power plant (HPP) is located.
Tajik prime minister noted that implementation of that large regional project would be one more step towards development of Tajikistan's energy sector. The power transmission power line will give an opportunity to supply Tajik electricity to Afghanistan during the spring and summer and will promote decrease in power losses on the territory of Tajikistan, Oqilov noted.
According to him, this project will improve Tajikistan's opportunities to get the regional power market and will raise reliability and efficiency of use of the power transmission line by the two countries.
Afghan Vice-President Mohammad Qasim Fahim, for his part, noted that introduction of the power transmission line into operation would promote improvement of socioeconomic situation in Afghanistan.
"Since Tajikistan is still experiencing winter electricity shortages, we will supply surplus electricity to Afghanistan only in summer," said the source in the Ministry of Energy and Industries (MoEI). "During autumn-winter period, we will supply 3 or 4 megawatt–hour of electricity per day to Afghanistan, only for testing purposes."
The power transmission line is expected to begin to operate in full capacity at the end of spring of 2012.
Barqi Tojik power holding says Tajikistan now supplies electrical power in small amounts only to the Afghan city of Kunduz and the cost of Tajik electricity for Afghanistan is currently 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Electricity generated by the Sangtuda-2 hydroelectric power plant (HPP) will be supplied to Afghanistan. "The Sangtuda-2 HPP offers its electrical power at 2.5 cents per one kWh, while current price of one kWh of electricity in Tajikistan is not more than 1.8 cents," said the source, "Therefore, it was decided to use for export electricity, generated by the Sungtuda-2 HPP, at the rate of 3.1-3.5 cents per one kWh."
A total cost the Tajikistan-Afghanistan 220 kV interconnection project that was launched in 2009 is 56.5 million U.S. dollars and it is financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, and the governments of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
On the territory of Tajikistan, the line starts in the Sanguda-1 hydroelectric plant and ends on the Tajik-Afghan border. The 220 kV Tajikistan-Afghanistan power transmission line is 281 kilometers long, and 118 kilometers of it lies on Tajik territory and 163 kilometers on Afghan territory.
Visiting Afghan officials met with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on October 26. Radio Liberty's Tajik Service reports Afghan Minister of Energy and Water Resources Mohammad Ismail Khan said after the meeting that the 300-megawatt power line between Sangtuda and Pul-i Khumri, the administrative center of afghan Baghlan province, will initially supply Afghanistan with power for just five months of the year, beginning in May. As of 2015, Tajikistan will supply electricity all year around. (Agencies)