By Kamila Aliyeva
Tajikistan called upon the participants of CASA-1000 to speed up the project’s practical implementation.
The United Arab Emirates hosted a meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of the CASA-1000 project with the participation of the energy ministers of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
The representatives of the World Bank, the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction, the Islamic Development Bank and USAID also attended the event.
The delegation of Tajikistan was led by Minister of Energy and Water Resources Usmonali Usmonzoda, the Tajik Foreign Ministry reported.
Addressing the event, Tajik Energy Minister called upon representatives of all countries to mobilize efforts and ensure the launch of commercial implementation of the project.
He also noted that during the summit of the CASA-1000 project participants, which took place in Tajikistan in July 2017, the heads of state and government defined the vector of action and set the task for the CASA-1000 Intergovernmental Council to speed up the construction phase.
Following the meeting, a final document, according to which the countries participating in the project approved a tender for the construction of a part of the power transmission line in the territory of Afghanistan, was signed.
CASA-1000 is an interregional electricity transmission project in Central and South Asia to connect four countries - Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It is presupposed that the project will create opportunities for the export of electricity surplus in summer period from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan through Afghanistan.
The project initially also included transfer of electricity to Afghanistan, however the country abandoned its share of electricity due to dearth of demand, hence Pakistan will receive 1,300 megawatts of electricity.
Groundbreaking for the project took place on May 12, 2016 in Tajikistan in a ceremony attended by the Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Pakistani Prime Ministers. CASA-1000 project will cost more than $1 billion and is expected to be completed by 2020.
Economy analysts are not very hopeful about the implementation of the project due to lack of cooperation between the countries involved. The experts note the insecurity in Afghanistan as another hurdle for the electricity transmission project.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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