The trend of CASA 1000 project expedites at the 4th Intergovernmental Session

September 18, 2013

KABUL ­– The 4th session of Intergovernmental Council on Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA 1000) was held in Islamabad from September 16-17 with participation by ministers from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The work on the CASA-1000 project was initiated in 2006 and is considered as one of the most important projects for the Central Asia region and for the government of Afghanistan. This project is also of significant economic and political importance for the region.

Once completed, the project is envisaged to transmit 1300 MW of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Based on estimates, Afghanistan’s electricity need from this project is about 300 MW; therefore, the remaining 1000 MW will be transmitted to Pakistan. The transmitted electricity from Central Asia will be effective to address the energy needs of Pakistan, which is currently facing an energy crisis.

The longest route of this project will run through Afghanistan, and the Afghan government will charge kilowatt-hour transit fee for the electricity passing through its territory and such a fee is to be determined in future negotiations. Adequate electricity selling and generating capacity also exist in other neighbouring countries such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and by using the electricity transmission network and the CASA-1000 project, this capacity could be transferred to South Asia through Afghanistan.

The 4th session of Intergovernmental Council being a competent and decision-making organ for this project, was held at ministerial level where discussions were made on the timetable for implementation of the major parts of the project. At this session, the timetable for signing agreements, contracts, committee meetings and group work sessions was reviewed and ratified.

According to the scheduled plan prepared by the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Council of CASA-1000, after the completion of major agreements by the end of 2013, this project will be ready for implementation and transmission of electricity by 2018. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is currently facing serious energy shortage, called for speedier implementation of the different phases of this project and requested the secretariat to work on completion of the project for utilization by 2017.

The issue of financing the project was separately shared with each of the involved countries by the Word Bank officials. Based on the World Bank figures, Afghanistan and Pakistan will not face any budget deficiency for financing the project; however, the Republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, to some extent, are faced with budget shortage. The ways for overcoming the budget deficits were discussed by the members of the Intergovernmental Council. As the observer participant in this session, the representative of the Russian Federation announced that, if the Russia has equal participation right in the project, it is ready to invest considerable amount of money in this project.

At the 4th session of the Intergovernmental Council, after thorough and lengthy discussions the following resolutions were ratified and signed by the ministers of the respective sectors of the member countries:

  1. Resolution on Contract Structure and Trade Principles,
  2. Resolution on Establishment of Procurement Committee: based on this resolution it was agreed that each country designate one to three representatives under the leadership of a competent authority to the Procurement Committee in order to review the issues related to the project procurement including preparation of procurement documents, project implementation and bidding documents, and to take necessary decisions on behalf of the member countries.
  3. Resolution on Establishment of Finance Committee: It was decided that each concerned country designate two of its representatives to the Finance Committee; one of the members of this committee shall be a competent authority of the Ministry of Finance of the respective country, and the second member may be a member of the project’s working group. The Finance Committee on its own or with the collaboration of the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Council, the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank will work to secure the necessary funds for this project.