Tajiks, Afghans Can’t Reach Electricity Deal
Thursday 25 August 2011
DUSHANBE (Avesta News Agency) – H. Umarov: “Tajikistan and Afghanistan have to find a compromise on the issue of electricity supply”
The Afghan side is demanding guaranteed year-round electricity, which Tajikistan can’t provide because it runs short of power in the autumn and winter. If during the summer surplus of electricity in Tajikistan is about 5 billion kWh, in winter the country lacks 2 to 2.5 billion kWh of electricity.
In an interview to Avesta News Agency, Professor Hodzhimuhammad Umarov, an independent economist said Tajikistan and Afghanistan have to find a compromise for the export of Tajik electricity. According to him, if Tajikistan doesn’t soon resolve its Afghan problem, it could lose the Afghan and Pakistani markets to energy-rich Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Tajikistan exports of power to Afghanistan, meant to start August 10, never did. Meanwhile, Afghanistan receives year-round electricity from Uzbekistan, while Turkmenistan is stringing a 500kW high-voltage line to Kabul. However, Tajikistan has said its electricity is advantageous for Afghanistan because it costs half as much as Uzbekistan’s (3.5 cents versus 7 to 7.5 cents per kWh).