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Tuesday 24 September 2019

Pakistan Wishes to Amend CASA-1000


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DUSHANBE (Satrapia) — Pakistan proposes to amend the regional agreement on the CASA-1000 Tajik electricity transmission project to make it possible to export power in both directions.

Under the current agreement, Pakistan is required to purchase up to 1000 MW of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan during the five-month period of summer, from May to October. The price for the kWh is set at ¢9.5 (US cents). However, according to The News, Pakistan has called on Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to extend the CASA-1000 agreement, which would provide an opportunity for bilateral electricity trade.

If Pakistan’s proposal is accepted, Islamabad will have the right to sell surplus electricity to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in winter.

However, the experts argued that Pakistan’s current energy capacity did not fully meet its own domestic electricity needs. Meanwhile, Tajikistan is increasing its energy capacity every year by commissioning new units in hydroelectric power plants under construction. One of the experts questioned noted that:

The problem is that it is not yet possible to sell electricity to Central Asian countries at a price of ¢9.5/kWh. The fact is that cooperation in the energy sector has been established in this region and that electricity imports are much cheaper. For example, Uzbekistan buys Tajik electricity at ¢2/kWh.

CASA-1000 is an international project launched in 2015 with the support of the World Bank. Its cost is estimated at more than $1.1 bln. Once completed, South Asian countries will receive up to 5 bln kWh of electricity annually from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. For now, the financing of the project is still not secured. While the Tajik government has already signed agreements with several international financial institutions to finance its own side, Kyrgyzstan needs $209 mln, Afghanistan $354 mln and Pakistan $209 mln to implement the CASA-1000 project.

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