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Hydropower-Third-party access clause added to CASA-1,000 project

Hence, Pakistan, a participating country of the Casa-1,000MW project, would be able to derive benefit when other nations come forward and use the transmission line to export electricity to the country.

An official at the Water and Power Ministry said under the power import agreement with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan would get electricity in the summer season. However, he said that there would be no power supply in winters due to the lower hydropower generation in Tajikistan.

The official added that Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Russia had offered electricity export to Pakistan and therefore, the third-party access clause had been made part of the agreement. This would enable Pakistan to get electricity at a time when there would be no power supply under the Casa-1000 MW power import project.

A hydel energy agreement between Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan has already been signed. The project, known as the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (Casa-1,000), will help export 1,000 megawatts (MW) of clean energy to Pakistan at a price of 9.35 cents inclusive of all charges.

The Casa-1,000 Transmission Project envisages the transportation of surplus electric power available in summer (May 1 to September 30) from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The estimated cost of the project is $1.17 billion, but the final cost would be determined through a competitive bidding process. This includes the estimated cost of $232 million required for the Pakistan portion of the DC Transmission Line and Convertor Station.

The estimated transmission tariff is 2.98 cents/kWh; the energy tariff is 5.15 cents/kWh and the Afghan transit fee is 1.25 cents/kWh. Additionally, there will be transit fee of 0.1 cents/kwh payable to Tajikistan for the flow of Kyrgyz energy.

Tajikistan appears to be a strategic partner of Pakistan especially in the energy sector and would connect Pakistan with Central Asian States.

CASA-1000 project is scheduled for completion by 2018 under the umbrella of the World Bank. Tajikistan’s share in the energy export will be 70% while Kyrgyzstan will export the rest. Afghanistan will consume 300MW, while Pakistan will receive 1,000 MW. The project is hoped to boost energy trade in the region that will lead to sustainable development.

In addition, Pakistan and Tajikistan are set to explore new avenues for the supply of 1,000MW by laying a transmission line from Chitral in an effort to put its surplus energy to use and help Islamabad ease the energy crisis. Tajikistan says it has the capacity to export an additional 1,000MW to Pakistan through Chitral.

Tajikistan was the world’s third largest producer of hydroelectric power after the US and Russia. Hydroelectric generation accounts for 76% of the total energy output in the country.

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