CASA-1000: Resolution signed
Category : News
The four countries that arepart of Central Asia-South Asia 1000 power import project have agreed on thestructure and key commercial principles, giving a strong indication that theywill be able to start developing the energy project next year.
In this regard, they signed aninter-governmental council resolution after two days of meetings, says astatement issued here on Monday.
Pakistan hosted the meetings ofthe Inter-Governmental Council (IGC) for the Central Asia-South AsiaElectricity Transmission and Trade Project, known as CASA-1000. The fourparticipating governments Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Pakistan signed the IGC resolution at the ministerial level.
CASA-1000 will facilitate firstelectricity trade between the four countries in Central Asia and South Asia,based on long-term commercial contracts for export of 1,300 megawatts from Kyrgyzstanand Tajikistan to power consumers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
An investment of $1 billion willbe made to create conditions for sustainable hydropower trade to ease shortagesin importing countries while enhancing sector and budget revenues in exportingcountries.
We sincerely hope thatrealisation of CASA-1000 will take us a long way in developing further therelationship between Central Asian and South Asian countries, said KhawajaMuhammad Asif, Minister of Water and Power.
Pakistan officials noted thatCASA-1000 could ease electricity shortages in peak summer season when consumerdemand reached the highest mark and reduce the countrys reliance on costly,carbon-intensive oil-based generation.
Afghan officials highlighted howimportant the project was in establishing the countrys role as a viabletransit nation and enhancing its growth prospects at a critical time.
Representatives of Tajikistan andKyrgyzstan welcomed the project, believing it would serve as a potential sourceof generating fiscal and power sector revenues that could be used to addresstheir acute energy shortages in winter.
Through the IGC, the fourcountries are working together to arrive at decisions on project implementationand operation, policies and rules, and technical, safety and environmentalstandards.
Preparations for the project werediscussed during the two-day deliberations, with progress made on plans tonegotiate commercial agreements, environment and social safeguard documents andhost public consultations later this year.
The meeting participants agreedthat an implementation plan for community benefit-sharing during constructionand operation would need to be developed in coming months.
Legal consultants presented anupdate on the preparation of important agreements, including the masteragreement, power purchase agreements and coordination agreement.
Other preparatory activities pertainingto financing, selecting a developer and operator, finalizing environmental andsocial assessment and a benefit-sharing plan for communities living around thecorridor of the transmission line were discussed.
Earlier activities have beenfinanced by and coordinated with the Australian Agency for InternationalDevelopment, US State Department and USAID, UK Department for InternationalDevelopment, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the WorldBank Group.