The First Public Private Partnership connects GBAO to the national electricity grid

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This was reportedly made possible through construction of the remaining 25km of 110kV Transmission line in the area of Vanj – Darvoz by Pamir Energy with generous funding support from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (RNMFA) and continuous support of the Government of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF).

“Having a unified grid is part of the strategic plan of the Government of Tajikistan to strengthen the inter-regional links and exchange of operational surpluses of power,” said Daler Juma, Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan. “With the connection of GBAO to the national grid, we not only significantly expanded the country’s networks, but also improved their reliability. Moreover, the project increases the country’s potential for exporting electricity.”

During the 20 years of its operation in GBAO, Pamir Energy focused on developing a complete regional grid by building the transmission lines from Khorog to Darvoz capable of connecting to the national grid. Over the years, this project has been successful through the support of Government of Tajikistan and various donor agencies. These agencies include the RNMFA (Norway), SECO (Switzerland), KfW (Germany), PATRIP Foundation (Germany), World Bank, USAID (USA) and other donors.

“I would like to thank our partners and donors for their generous support which enabled us to establish a unified grid to improve energy security in these geographically isolated regions where we are operating,” said Amrikhon Rahimov, General Director of Pamir Energy. “Being connected to the national grid is a huge milestone and achievement which help us reduce energy scarcity during winter for the people of GBAO. It is also symbolic within the framework of the 20th anniversary of the first Public-Private Partnership.”

It should be noted that within the framework of this project, the construction of two 110kW substations in Rushan and Vanj districts continues, where currently electricity is transmitted through 35kW transmission line. After completing the construction of the substations by mid-2022, Pamir Energy will further increase the power transmission capacity and reliability.

“The Norwegian MFA would like to commend both the AKDN and Pamir Energy for their great success in building and connecting the electricity grid in GBAO to the national grid. This represents a huge and longed for improvement in providing electricity to people and businesses in the region and beyond. Congratulations with your consistent efforts and the impressive results,” Central Asia Ambassador John Mikal Kvistad of NMFA said.

The Vanj I: Improving the Quality of Life through Electricity Provision Project aims to improve the quality of life of vulnerable households in remote areas of Eastern Tajikistan through better regional electricity connectivity and provision. The project’s specific objective is to improve long-term access to energy services in Tajikistan’s GBAO, and Badakhshan Province of Afghanistan by connecting the existing main grid with the smaller grid in GBAO’s Vanj and Darvoz districts and ultimately to the national grid of Tajikistan. The project is funded by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, managed by the Aga Khan Foundation United Kingdom (AKF UK) and implemented by Pamir Energy. The project was launched in January 2020 and will complete by December 2022.

The main task of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to secure and promote Norway’s interests internationally. The Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda form the bedrock of the Norwegian government’s development policy. All countries have a common responsibility to contribute to a peaceful and just world in which extreme poverty is history. Norway’s development aid aims to unite climate and development policy, prioritizing renewable energy, the fight against hunger and for food security, combating inequality, strengthening women’s rights to decide over their own bodies, providing humanitarian assistance and fighting communicable diseases.

Established by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and its partners in 2002, Pamir Energy Company (PE) is an integrated energy utility company operating in GBAO. PE’s establishment marked the formation of the first PPP in Central Asia, with the Government of Tajikistan transferring the operation and management of the energy assets in the region to PE in 2002 but maintaining ownership. PE’s goal is to bring light and warmth to GBAO by providing clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to every household and creating a sustainable, resilient energy network that will be handed back to the Government of Tajikistan at the end of the 25-year partnership. Pamir Energy has invested over US$ 200 million since 2002 to repair electrical infrastructure, expand hydroelectric capacity and establish a metering system in the region. Following its rehabilitation, about 98% of the 227,000 population of GBAO gained access to electricity and is working to cover the remaining 2% by 2023.

Source: Asia-Plus