Kandahar’s 10-MW solar power plant in doldrums
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Power utility officials in southern Kandahar province say the process to acquire land and stretch wires as part of a 10-megawatt solar power project has been completed, but the assisting organization has stopped work on the plant’s installation since winter.
The residents of Kandahar also complained against the delay in completing the solar power project and asked the authorities concerned to avoid negligence in this regard.
The plant worth $15 million was supposed to be built with the help of USAID and completed by 2016 summer, but little work has been done so far.
Eng. Syed Rassoul Baqi, Breshna Shirkat director in Kandahar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that USAID had pledged to launch work on the power project in February, 2016. But the work has not yet begun.
He said the USAID had demanded that the land, on which the project would be executed, should be owned by the Breshna Shirkat. He said the USAID had also asked for the electricity wires to be extended to the defined location. Both the demands had been met and only the launch of work on the project remained, Baqi said.
According to Baqi, 80 acres of land has been acquired for the project and 135 pylons have been installed.
He said President Ashraf Ghani during his last visit to the province, had pledged work on the solar power project would be completed till summer, but no progress happened.
Baqi also provided information about installation of the third turbine at the Kajaki hydropower dam, saying it had been 40 percent completed. He said few months before work on the third turbine had been postponed due to insecurity.
With installation of the third turbine, the dam would produce 18.5 MW of additional power. Currently the dam produces 33MW of electricity.
A third option is the extension of electricity from Kabul to Ghazni and from Ghazni to Kandahar. Kandahar currently consumes 15 MW of electricity --- three MW produced from diesel and 12 MW from Kajaki dam.
Factory owners in Kandahar City said they needed 10MW of electricity while they were provided only 3MW. Most of the factories had stopped production due to non-availability of electricity in Kandahar.
Abdul Rahman, a resident of 5th municipal district, said the president during his visit had pledged the completion of the 10 MW solar power until summer. He lamented the summer was approaching but no progress could be seen on the project.
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