Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tajik power import plan a non-starter

Tajik power import plan a non-starter

ISLAMABAD: The project to import electricity from Tajikistan is unlikely to materialise, as construction work on the Rogun hydropower project from where the electricity was to be supplied to Pakistan has not so far been initiated, a senior official of Water and Power Ministry told The News.
The project is said to be unfeasible, as the transmission lines have to cover 430 km in Afghanistan and the route poses significant security concerns. But the government is still negotiating with Tajikistan for the import of electricity though it can easily produce cheap electricity up to 1,315 MW by building Munda multipurpose hydropower project to generate 740 MW, Kalangi (400 MW) and Khazana (175 MW).
In 2004, Pakistan showed interest in importing 1,000 MW of electricity from Tajikistan through the Wakhan (Afghanistan) border to meet shortfalls and future requirements. The initial feasibility, the official said, was prepared for a supply of 5.5 billion units of electricity per year to Pakistan from its Rogun hydropower station.
“This would cost 4 to 5 cents per unit through a 650-700km extra-high voltage transmission line.” It was also agreed that all the line losses in the transmission system would be at the cost of Pakistan.
He said that the work on project could not kick off so far as in February 2007, Russia announced partnership with Tajikistan to complete the dam but this was dropped later because of disagreements over controlling the project.
Later this year, Tajikistan launched an IPO (Initial Public Offering) to raise US$1.4 billion for construction of the dam. As of April 26, 2010, the Tajik government has raised just US$184 million, enough for two years of construction.
The ministry of water and power, the official said, is negotiating for importing electricity from Tajikistan, but did not focus to initiate construction of these three projects to generate cheap electricity locally.
“The said three dams were identified as potential forerunners for a change in the socio-economic condition of the least developed region of the country - Fata (Federally Administered Tribal Areas).”
He disclosed that electricity is provided to Fata free of cost and since 2005, the government of Pakistan has provided Rs84 billion to pay outstanding dues accumulated on account of Tesco (Tribal Electric Supply Company), a government-owned electricity Company that provides electricity to Fata.
“Had these projects been completed at the right time, Pakistan would have not only been able to add 1,315 MW to the national grid but there would also have been an addition of 2.5 MAF storage capacity in the Swat River.” “Moreover it would also have saved the huge amount being spent as subsidy to the Fata people,” the official said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

BLOG DIRECTORY, Submit blog free, Promote Blog, Best directory