The foundation stone laying ceremony of CASA-1000 project, envisaging transportation of surplus electric power available in summer months (May 1 to September 30) from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, will be held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on May 11, 2016. The decision was taken in a series of recent meetings of Joint Working Group (JWG) and Inter-Governmental Council (IGC) of CASA-1000 project held in Almaty from April 19-21, 2016.
Pakistan would be able to import 300 MW additional power under this project if Afghanistan does not use its share of electricity in case of low demand in the country. The government has assured security protection and is charging 1.25 cents per kWh as transit fee. Pakistani side was represented by Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Secretary Water and Power Younus Dagha and Joint Secretary Zafar Abbas. Energy Ministers of the members’ countries led their respective delegations during these meetings.
The estimated cost of the CASA-1000 project is $1.170 billion including $208 million IDC & taxes-but the final cost would be determined through a competitive bidding process. This includes the estimated cost of $200 million required for the Pakistan portion of the DC Transmission Line and convertor station excluding the AC portion reinforcement in Pakistan. The total tariff of the energy is calculated at 9.48 cents/kWh which includes estimated Transmission energy, Afghan Transit and Tajik Wheeling Charges
The World Bank in its Board of Directors meeting on 27 March, 2014 approved US $120m in IDA credit for Pakistan while ISDB committed US $35 million for DC transmission line part of Pakistan. During these meetings of Joint Working Group and Inter-Governmental Council of CASA-1000 project, the member countries also thoroughly reviewed the ongoing procurement process for three convertor stations of the transmission line. It was also decided to go for two convertor stations instead of three and to float fresh tenders for these two converters within two months.
According to an official spokesperson of Water and Power Ministry, since the bid received for the convertor stations was very high and the technical capability of the bidder was also a major concern for all the member countries, the JWG/IGC meetings considered two options for quick materialisation of the project. These options include re-bidding and restructuring of the project by converting it to two terminal projects with convertor stations at Tajikistan and Pakistan and Afghan convertor station is taken separately. All countries and financing institutions have renewed their commitment to the project.
The project will comprise the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of a 750kms high voltage direct current transmission system between Tajikistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan together with associated converter stations at Sangtuda (1300MW), Kabul (300MW) and District Nowshera (1,300MW) and a 477km 500kv alternating current link between the Kyrgyz Republic (Datka) and Tajikistan (Khoujand). The CASA-1000 Transmission Line (T/L) to Pakistan would be capable of delivering 1300 MW (1000 MW) as Pakistan’s share & 300 MW as Afghanistan’s share; however, the Afghan share may be available for Pakistan as Afghanistan’s demand may be low.