PM to discuss power import from Tajikistan through Chitral

ISLAMABAD, June 11: Pakistan and Tajikistan are set to explore new avenues for the supply of 1,000 megawatts of electricity with the help of transmission lines to Chitral in an effort to utilise surplus energy and help Islamabad ease its power shortages, officials told Express Tribune newspaper in Islamabad. This energy trade, which is separate from the Central Asia-South Asia 1,000-megawatt (Casa-1000) power supply project, will come up for discussion during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Dushanbe in the middle of June. Leaders of the two countries would also hold talks on building road and railway networks in order to connect Central Asian states with Pakistan through Afghanistan for regional connectivity that would enhance trade. “Both the sides have also agreed to cooperate in exploration, extraction and processing of oil and gas and will review measures required for collaboration in these areas,” an official said. According to sources, the prime minister will leave for Dushanbe for a two-day visit on June 17. nawazHe will be accompanied by Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi. Pakistan is already working with Tajikistan on Casa-1000 power supply project and now plans to purchase an additional 1,000 MW were under study for which transmission lines would be laid from Tajikistan to Chitral. “Tajikistan has a huge potential to produce hydroelectric power and wants to help Pakistan tackle its energy crisis,” Tajik Ambassador Sherali  Jononov said. Confirming Sharif’s visit to Dushanbe, he stressed that the two sides would explore the potential of energy cooperation during the trip. “We have the capacity to export an additional 1,000 MW to Pakistan through Chitral route that will help our brotherly country overcome the energy crisis,” Jononov said. Diplomatic sources pointed out that Tajikistan has also vast reserves of oil and gas and it could export gas by laying a pipeline on the model of the proposed Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) pipeline in future. “Tajikistan wants to expand energy cooperation with Pakistan by building a pipeline for gas export to meet Islamabad’s energy needs,” a diplomatic source said. For 1,000 MW power supply, transmission lines would pass through a small border area of Afghanistan and reach Chitral, which is 15km from Tajikistan’s border, the source said. The project, named Rogun-Khorog-Vakhan-Chitral and proposed in the early 1990s, drew interest from different countries and international financial institutions, which were keen to become part of it. According to sources, Tajikistan, Pakistan and other participating countries had signed a financing deal with the World Bank and other multilateral donors would also be approached for funding the laying of transmission lines. It is estimated to cost around $240.5 million covering transmission lines to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. A Tajik embassy official said among other sectors of Tajikistan’s economy, the area of energy had been showing sustainable growth over the last 15 years. During the period, hydroelectric power generation had been stable. Apart from big plants, there were 20 medium and 40 small hydroelectric power stations in remote mountainous areas, each having capacity in the range of 5 kilowatts (kwt) to 1,500 kwt, he said. According to the official, Tajikistan is the world’s third largest producer of hydroelectric power after the US and Russia. This power generation source constitutes 76% of total energy output in the country. During the prime minister’s visit, the two sides will also discuss the progress on Casa-1000 project for which World Bank has approved funds. This project will ensure a steady source of revenue for the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, the weakest economies in Central Asia, and requires no new investment because it will supply surplus power that will otherwise be wasted.]]>

One Reply to “PM to discuss power import from Tajikistan through Chitral”

  1. This ambitious project needs decades to become materialize as complex issues are linked with it.Unless and until stability and security is not insured in the region especially in Afghanistan this project will not work.The areas which encircle the proposed project are vulnerable and home to hosts of terrorist and extremist outfits. In the presence of these outfits no country or any international organization would feel convenient to invest.in the western site of this proposed project there is a threat from the terrorist organization ” The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan”, who is involved in the recent attak on Karach Airport and always crating troubles in our FATA. on the one side the Uigur Muslim terrorists of Xingiang province of China could be a potential threat.Still on the other side the AL-Qaida and Taliban hold position.Under these circumstances and in the presence of such potential threats, it seems difficult for the electricity pylons to be installed. However, if the project is materialized in any way it will be a good omen for Chitralis.To me this project will be difficult before normalcy of affairs in the entire region.

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