Turkmenistan to up power supply to Afghanistan
By Aynur Karimova
Ashgabat and Kabul have reached an agreement to supply electricity from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan in 2018-2027 and to increase the volume of exported electricity four-fold in this period.
This was noted in a protocol signed between the Turkmen Energy Minister and Afghan Energy and Water Resources Minister in the presence of Turkmen President, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Afghan president's special representative for CIS, Mohammad Shaker Kargar, the Turkmen government said on May 27.
The Afghan delegation arrived in Ashgabat to discuss prospects of cooperation in the field of electricity and implementation of a joint Memorandum of Understanding on further cooperation in the field of electric power industry.
Electricity industry is one of the leading sectors of the Turkmen economy, which aims to fully satisfy the needs of industry, agriculture, social sector of the country, as well as to increase the volume of exports. Currently, Turkmen electricity is exported to Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey.
This year electricity production in Turkmenistan is expected to reach 21.9 billion kilowatt-hours, and exports - 2.89 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
The government also plans to start the construction of Vatan and Zargar gas turbine power plants in Lebap velayat and to complete the construction of a power plant with a capacity of 504.4 megawatt in Akhal velayat in 2015.
Until 2020, Turkmenistan is set to build a total of 14 gas turbine power plants, the commissioning of which will serve as both a reliable and uninterrupted power supply to consumers in the country and increase the country's export potential to foreign partners in accordance with the “Concept of development of Turkmenistan's power industry for 2013-2020.”
Turkmenistan has a long border with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries regularly host events in the border security sphere under the auspices of the UN.
This Central Asian state provides real assistance to Afghanistan by supplying electricity and liquefied petroleum gas, constructing industrial and social facilities, and regularly providing humanitarian aid to the Afghan population.
In order to increase the volume of electricity exported to Afghanistan, Turkmenistan is to complete the construction of an overhead transmission line with a voltage of 500 kilovolts.
With the implementation of this ambitious project, the export of Turkmen electricity to Tajikistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan will become technically possible.