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ADB provides $275m for electricity expansion

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“Capacity of power transmission from Turkmenistan will increase from 300MW to 1,000MW,” says Finance Minister

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: For strengthening and expansion of Turkmenistan power transmission line in Northern provinces of Afghanistan, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided $275 million to the Afghan government.

The agreement was signed on Saturday by the ADB’s Country Director for Afghanistan, Thomas Panella, and Finance Minister Eklil Ahmad Hakimi.

After signing the agreement, Thomas Panella told media that the grant would support the ongoing power projects in Afghanistan.

He said that the ADB cooperation would boost the energy trade and facilitate the regional cooperation for transmission of power, improve the energy infrastructures and increase energy supplies.

The investment program supports energy generation including renewable energy and transmission line importing electricity from northern neighboring counties. The program will also support rehabilitation of gas reserves in Shibarghan, capital city of Jowzjan province, he said.

Eklil Ahmad Hakimi said that the first tranche of the cooperation is allocated for construction of 300km of a 500kv transmission line connecting Sheberghan with Dasht-e Alwan in Pul-e-Khumri province.

He added that the 600km transmission line with capacity of 220kv from Andkhoy district of Faryab province to Sheberghan is also part of the electricity expansion project.

He stressed that by implementation of the mentioned projects the capacity of power transmission from Turkmenistan would increase from 300MW to 1,000MW. A portion of the donation will be spent on capacity building of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) employees to recover the dues properly, he said.

He underlined the Afghan government is committed to spend the funds through transparent procurement process and all relevant departments would try hard to implement the projects to provide adequate electricity to Kabul and other parts of the country.

The Asian Development Bank has been one of the major donors for expansion and transmission of power in Afghanistan as ADB in 2015 vowed to grant around $1.2 billion for supporting energy sector in the country.

Head of the DABS, Abdul Raziq Sammadi, said the ADB has provided around $800 million for strengthening of power transmission. He said that work is underway on various projects to increase the power supply.

He added that ADB’s cooperation would also help the DABS to supply power from Kabul to Logar, Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Maidan Wardak and Kandahar provinces.