Afghanistan and Pakistan signed an agreement on electricity transit fees as part of the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project, known as CASA-1000.
The accord was signed on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF annual joint sittings at a ceremony held in New York.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dan Feldman witnessed the signing ceremony at the World Bank Headquarters.
“It's a win-win for both countries,” Pakistani Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar said at the ceremony. He described the agreement a major step towards closer partnership between the two countries with transmission of Central Asian energy to Pakistan.
The agreement will help establish commercial arrangements for 1,300 megawatts of sustainable, regional electricity trade between Pakistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
The neighbouring countries have concluded their negotiations reaching an accord on 1.25 percent KW transit fee for supply of Central Asian electricity to Pakistan through Afghan territory.
The World Bank and the US welcomed the accord. “This marks a new beginning towards greater economic cooperation between the two countries,” said Dar, adding that Pakistan was committed to greater economic and trade cooperation with Afghanistan.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, Additional Secretary External Finance Shahid Mahmood attended the ceremony.
For his part, Afghan Acting Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal said Afghanistan was ready to realise the CASA-1000 vision and improve energy security and trade for the two countries and the region.
Ambassador Jilani said the agreement marked an important achievement towards meeting Pakistan's exponential energy requirements.
CASA-1000 will build more than 1,200 km of electricity transmission lines and associated substations to transmit excess summer hydropower energy from existing power generation stations in Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
To oversee the complex, 4-country process, an inter-governmental council has been established to supervise the design and implementation of the project.
In March 2014, the World Bank Group approved financing for the engineering design, construction, and commissioning of transmission lines and three new converter stations. The project would build upon existing power generation stations that will provide the energy to be traded over CASA-1000.
CASA-1000 will enable the development of the Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM) – a long-term plan for regional energy trade.