The World Bank has announced approving $526.5 million in grant and credit financing for the Central Asia-South Asia electricity transmission and trade project (CASA-1000).
Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan will benefit from the transmission infrastructure project that would put in place the commercial and institutional arrangements as well as the infrastructure required for 1,300 megawatts (MW) of sustainable electricity trade.
The World Bank Group’s Board of Directors approved the funds on Thursday for the project, whose cost is estimated at $1.17 billion. Several other development partners will provide financing for CASA-1000, including the Islamic Development Bank and US Agency for International Development.
CASA-1000 will build more than 1,200 kilometers of electricity transmission lines and associated sub-stations to provide excess summer hydropower energy from existing power generation stations in Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In a statement, World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati said: “These four countries are demonstrating strong regional cooperation by addressing their energy challenges together. CASA-1000 is a transformational project that will give a much-needed boost to energy security, improved connectivity and trade across two regions at a critical time.”
Of the project financing, Afghanistan will receive $316.5 million in the form of an IDA grant, which will support construction of about 560-km of an overhead transmission line to connect the electricity network via northern and eastern provinces.
It will also finance the engineering design, construction, and commissioning of a 300 MW converter station in Kabul. Afghanistan is expected to connect more households and businesses to the power grid by importing 300MW of electricity through CASA-1000.
Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), Afghanistan’s electricity company, and the Ministry of Energy and Water will implement Afghanistan’s portion of the project, including a Security Management Plan for the construction and operation phase.