Kajaki Dam expansion contract signed with Turkish firm
KABUL (Pajhwok): Contract for investment in the Kajaki hydropower plant’s second phase was signed on Saturday between the Ministry of Water and Energy and a Turkish firm in the presence of President Ashraf Ghani.
The contract was signed between Water and Energy Minister Eng. Ali Ahmad Usmani and The 77 Turkish Construction Company head Sulaiman.
The minister said the second phase development of the dam and installation of new turbines would enable the plant to produce 151 megawatts of electricity against the current 51 megawatts and the dam would be one of the biggest at the regional level, Usmani said.
“The contract’s singing is a step towards launching work on the second part of Kajaki dam and upon completion of work on the second segment, the dam’s storage capacity would reach two billion and 34 million cubic metres, which means one billion extra water.”
The stored water would irrigate 100,000 hectares of land; Usamani said, adding that in addition new canals to farmlands would also be constructed.
Sulaiman, the contracted construction company head, said, “The project besides producing 100MW of additional power through new turbines, which will be installed soon, would also pave the ground for development.”
He stated the project in addition to power production would also enable the lands, which were not cultivated so far, to be farmed as well.
Homayoon Qayomi, a senior advisor to the president, said, “I am happy seeing this project’s contract of vital importance being signed. The project is not only limited to Helmand and Kandahar but it will benefit all Afghans.”
Osmani said the Kajaki dam was built in 1950 by an American company in the Kajaki district of southern Helmand province to control floods, irrigate farmlands, produce electricity and store one billion and 700 million cubic metres water.
According to the company’s master plan, two turbines at the dam were installed until 1954 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.
According to MoWE, the storage capacity of the Kajaki Dam is 1.5 times larger than Salma Dam and produces two times more power than Salma Dam. The Kajaki Dam is 100 metres high with 2290 width and its discharge capacity is 2.1 million cubic meters.
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