MoU signed with Turkish firm on Kajaki dam expansion
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Power and Energy and a Turkish firm on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand water storage and electricity production capacity of the Kajaki hydropower plant in southern Helmand province.
The MoU signing ceremony that took place at the Presidential Palace was also attended by President Ashraf Ghani, government officials and representatives of the Turkish 77 company.
Water and Energy Minister Ali Ahmad Osmani said four new turbines would be installed at the Kajaki dam under the agreement and the turbines would increase the dam’s production capacity to 151 megawatts.
The minister said the unity government had a strong intention to initiate and complete long term mega projects and the parliament should support the government in this regard.
Osmani said the Kajaki dam was built in the 1950s to control floods, irrigate farmland, to produce electricity and store one billion and 700 million cubic metres water.
He said two turbines at the dam were installed in 1975 having the capacity to produce 33 megawatts of electricity and a third turbine having the capacity to produce 18.5MW electricity could not be installed due to the conflict in the country. But a few years ago, work to install the third turbine resumed and the turbine would start producing power this year.
The minister said the second phase development of the dam and the installation of new turbines would enable the facility to produce 151 megawatts of electricity against the current 51 megawatts.
Osmani did not say when the expansion work would start, but said the Turkish firm would present its proposal about the dam’s expansion to the Afghan government over the next three months and practical work on the project would be launched with approval of the proposal.
He said the installation of new turbines and the development would take three years to complete and the power produced would be supplied to Helmand and Kandahar provinces.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.