ADB to finance 2 power projects
KABUL (PAN): The Ministry of Finance, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (the power utility) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Saturday signed grant agreements for two recently approved energy projects.
The $216 million North-South Power Transmission Enhancement Project, together with the $49.1 million 500 kv substation at Dashti Alwan Project, will build a 500-kV transmission line, straddling 225 kilometers across the Hindukush mountain range.
It will include a substation connected to the grid in Kabul to complement a separate 500-kv substation to be built in the north by ADB under its Energy Sector Development Programme.
“We are pleased that the ADB has made solving this critical transmission bottleneck between northern and southern Afghanistan a priority this year," said Minister of Finance Omar Zakhilwal.
He hoped the substantial infrastructure investments would stimulate economic activity, reduce the cost of doing business, improve the environment and cut poverty.
“Kabul and the provincial capitals in all eastern and southern provinces suffer load shedding because of power shortages and this is undermining growth and fueling ethnic and regional tensions,” said Joji Tokeshi, ADB’s country director.
“These projects will form part of a broader ADB-backed initiative to help get power to needy areas and allow Afghanistan to become part of an energy resource corridor connecting Central Asia’s power systems with those of South Asia.”
ADB’s assistance will come from its Asian Development Fund (id="mce_marker"48.1 million), with co-finance of id="mce_marker"17 million from the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund including contributions from the US (id="mce_marker"04 million) and Japan (id="mce_marker"3 million).
The government of Afghanistan will contribute $7.9 million to a total investment cost of $273 million for the two projects, which are scheduled to be completed by December 2016.
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