DABS annual revenue projected at $203m
KABUL (PAN): The revenue of Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) will reach $203 million and $150 million will be paid to four exporting countries, an official said on Tuesday.
A total 700 megawatts of electric power has been imported from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran and Turkmenistan since 2006 to meet 80 percent of the country’s requirement.
About 200 megawatts of power was produced by Sarobi, Mahipar, Naghlu, Kajaki and Daronta dams, DABS Director Mirwais Alami told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The fast-growing company pays six cents to Uzbekistan, four each to Iran and Tajikistan and two to Turkmenistan for one kilowatt of power.
Last year, DABS paid $120 million to the four countries, but the figure would go up to $150 million this year, the director said.
The company’s revenue, which stood at nearly 9 billion afghanis in 2011, is estimated at 11 billion afs (nearly $203 million) this year.
According to the Ministry of Water and Energy, Afghanistan has the capacity of producing 24,000 megawatts of power, including 23,000 megawatts of hydel electricity.
In response to a question, Alami said: "For the time being, there is a dire need for electricity imports, because building a power dam takes a long time and a lot of money." He believed an amount of $1 billion is needed to build a major dam that takes 15 years to complete.
"Neither the government has the required money nor donors are ready to fund such projects. And there will be no improvement in areas of economy, health and education in the absence of power imports."
Deputy Minister of Water and Energy Shujauddin Ziayee said the ministry was working on plans keeping in view its resources. Water management and its use for irrigation and power generation was the only way to resolve economic problems, he said.
In order to realise the goal, the government has launched a study of the country's rivers five years ago. The study is nearing completion, according to the deputy minister
Based on the study, an amount of $4 billion is needed to build two dams in Kunar and a third in Farah. When completed, the facilities will have the capacity of producing 2,000 megawatts electricity.
He said work on several dams in Helmand, Farah, Herat, Kabul and Faryab provinces would be completed in the next two years. Being built on Panjsher River, work on the design of another dam in Parwan province is to be launched soon.
Energy-deficient Afghanistan currently needs 5,000 megawatts of electricity, with 36 percent of its population having access to the facility. Ziyayee says $10 billion is needed for building the dams.