Ceremony marks construction of Kunduz-Taluqan power transmission line
From left to right: Minister of Finance Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Economy Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, and Chief Executive Officer of Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) Abdul Razique Samadi.
A groundbreaking ceremony in Takhar province marked the start of construction of the $27.8-million power transmission line linking the northern Afghanistan cities of Kunduz and Taluqan. The transmission line is being funded by Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) $164-million grant, the first tranche of a multitranche finance facility worth $570 million under the Energy Sector Development Investment Program.
The 67-kilometer (km), double-circuit, 220-kilovolt line will improve Afghanistan’s power infrastructure. It will help bring electricity to homes and stimulate business activity in Takhar. ADB Country Director for Afghanistan Joji Tokeshi said, “Power plays a key role in enabling development and reducing poverty, but there’s still much work to be done in this region.”
The transmission line will contribute to building and rehabilitating power and energy facilities, as well as supporting capacity building in the power utility sector. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete, which will extend the existing 157 km power transmission line from Tajikistan to Kunduz. The new line will be part of the North East Power System that connects Kabul, Pul-e-Khumri, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz, and other road centers of northern and eastern Afghanistan.
Other projects due to be financed by the first tranche include rehabilitation and development of distribution networks in Kunduz and Baghlan, construction of small hydropower plants in Badakhshan and Bamyan provinces, and rehabilitation of gas fields in Sheberghan. The proposed line from Kunduz to Taluqan will bring power to an estimated 40,000 people.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Finance Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Economy Arghandiwal, Chief Executive Officer of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) Abdul Razique Samadi, and country manager of the lead contractor, KEC International, Subrahmanyam Bonala.