The issue of reducing the cost of Tajik electricity for Pakistan has not even been raised

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The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan denies reports by some Pakistani media outlets about the possibility of reviewing the original cost of Tajik electricity for Pakistan in the framework of CASA 1000 Project as baseless.

“We have not yet received any official proposal from our Pakistani colleagues,” the First Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Jamshed Shoimzoda, noted at a news conference in Dushanbe on July 12.

He, in particular, noted that the CASA 1000 Project had been discussed recently at a meeting with Pakistani colleagues and the issue of reducing the cost of Tajik electricity for Pakistan had not even been raised at that meeting.

According to Shoimzoda, the CASA 1000 Project having been successfully implemented even in Afghan territory, “but after Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan in August last year, development partners have placed on hold the project.”

“But now work is underway to resume the project,” Shoimzoda said, noting that construction of the Tajik section of the 1000 Electricity Transmission and Trade Project for Central Asia and South Asia (CASA 1000) is nearing completion.

Recall, The International News (Pakistan) reported on September 22, 219 that Pakistan has formally asked Tajikistan to invoke the open access clause in the agreement under the CASA 1000 Project paving way for two way trade of electricity, as under the existing deal, Pakistan is bound to import 1,000MW electricity per day at 9.50 cents per unit in summer season from May to October once this project comes into stream.

Under new scenario, Pakistan is now surplus in electricity and wants to export it to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan in winter season by using the same structure of CASA project.

Additional Secretary Power Division Waseem Mukhtar, who represented Pakistan in CAREC countries’ two days conference ‘Breaking the Investment Barrier in Central Asia’, said while talking to The International News that in next meeting of the countries involved in CASA project, Pakistan will take up the issue and ask electricity supplier countries -- Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan -- to review the deal.

Mukhtar noted that when Pakistan had entered into agreement with Tajikistan and other countries under CASA project, the country had been facing acute electricity crisis. He said the Word Bank had drafted the agreement signed by all countries involved in this project.

“We cannot abandon the project unilaterally as sovereign guarantees are involved and Pakistan cannot afford to face penalty in dollars in case any aggrieved party moves the international arbitration,” he said.

Asked if Pakistan’s financial liability starts when Tajikistan provides electricity in national grid in Peshawar, he replied in the affirmative. When he was further questioned if Pakistan will bear the transit electricity loss in Afghanistan in the wake of any subversive activity, he said that all such issues must have been covered in the agreement.

A the end of 2018, The International News, citing a senior official of Power Division, said that Pakistan proposed to include a reverse flow of electricity clause in the power purchase agreement (PPA).

Under the agreement, once the CASA-1000 project is completed, Pakistan will import 1,000MW electricity from Tajikistan in summer season for 5 months from May to September.

The Central Asia-South Asia power project, commonly known by the acronym CASA-1000, is a $1.17 billion project currently under construction that will allow for the export of surplus hydroelectricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Groundbreaking for the project took place in May 2016 by leaders of the four nations.

The project will allow for the export of 1,300 megawatts of electricity during the summer months when both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan experience surplus electricity generation from hydroelectric dams.

High voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations will also be included as part of the project, as well as a 477 kilometer long, 500 kilovolt alternating current transmission line between Datka, Kyrgyzstan and Khujand, Tajikistan. A 1,300 MW AC/DC converter station will be constructed in Sangtuda, Tajikistan, as well as a 300 MW converter station in Kabul, Afghanistan. A 750km HVDC line will be constructed between Sangtuda, and the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, via Kunduz, Pul-e Khumri, Kabul and Jalalabad in Afghanistan. In Peshawar, a 1,300 MW converter station will be built and connected to Pakistan's electric grid.

Source: Asia-Plus