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Grid access to benefit Ghazni residents, private sector

Grid access to benefit Ghazni residents, private sector

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Jan 11, 2018 - 14:10

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Residents and businesses in southern Ghazni province would have access to an initial power capacity of 10 megawatts (MW), the USAIDinfo-icon said on Thursday,

Da Afghanistaninfo-icon Breshna Sherkat (DABS) intended to increase further over the coming months, a statement from USAID said.  It would nearly double Ghazni’s locally-generated capacity and would supply about 7,500 existing connections.

On January 4, President Ashraf Ghani attended an inauguration ceremony in Kabul, officially launching the extension of the national power grid to Ghazni.

This represents a significant milestone in the development of Afghanistan’s electrical infrastructure, marking both the first time Ghazni residents have had direct access to imported electricity and extending the reach of the national grid.

Grid access would benefit the local private sector, including the USAID-supported Ghazni Industrial Park, which in the past had faced challenges getting reliable access to power.

With the extension of the national power grid to Ghazni, local electricity customers could expect a steep reduction in their utility bills.

Grid-supplied and imported power would cost a fraction of the 35-40 afghanis per kWh that customers were paying for diesel-generated electricity.

Access to grid-connected power also means more price stability for residential and commercial customers, as diesel rates vary depending on the season and location.

DABS constructed the Ghazni substation, along with the 111 kilometers of transmission lines connecting it to Arghandi, with USAID support under the Power Transmission Expansion and Connectivity (PTEC) project.

This includes a second substation at Sayadabad, which is now positioned to deliver electricity to a part of Afghanistan that has never before had access.

DABS overcame challenges operating in a difficult environmentinfo-icon, including damage to the transmission line due to crossfire.

As such, the successful electrification of the Ghazni substation is both good news for the people and a significant achievement for Afghanistan’s national power utility.

pr/nh/mud

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