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Three Asian countries agree to develop 4GW power interconnection project

EBR Staff Writer Published 28 February 2018

Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan have signed a framework agreement to develop a new 4GW power interconnection project to facilitate electricity trade and exchange.

To be completed in two phases, the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) power interconnection project will be supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The project is expected to help in the delivery of long-term power supply for the three countries, and will particularly support the energy needs of Afghanistan.

ADB said that a 500kv transmission line of about 500km length will be constructed under the TAP project between the three countries. Once completed, the power interconnection project will be able to transport up to 4GW of electricity from Turkmenistan into Afghanistan and Pakistan.

ADB Afghanistan country director Samuel Tumiwa said: “TAP power interconnection project is not only a good mechanism for strengthening partnerships and enabling power trade among the three countries, but it also shows the desire of the countries for peace, stability, and economic development.”

TAP’s power trade will use existing electricity infrastructure and will also promote partnerships in the form of new transmission investments in the three Asian countries.

Its first phase will utilize the existing power infrastructure under the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TUTAP) power interconnection project, which is financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). TUTAP’s objective is to export electricity from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and has been financed by the ADB since 2013.

According to ADB, the first phase of TAP is expected to be completed by 2021.

The Manila-based organization said that the second phase of TAP will export electricity from Serhetabad border and Torghundy in Turkmenistan into Herat, Kandahar, and Spin Boldak in Afghanistan and also into Chaman and Quetta in Pakistan.

The second phase of TAP is anticipated to be completed by 2022.

The countries will also explore other options for the power interconnection project, including optimizing and using any surplus electricity or transmission capacity during winters by integrating it with the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA) system.

Image: Ministers of the three countries signed the framework agreement. Photo: courtesy of Afghanistan Presidential Palace.