CASA-1000 regional energy project: experts for consultation to address hindrance along power transmission routes
Experts at consultative workshop on CASA-1000 (a Central Asia-South Asia Regional Energy Project), have stressed that the social, environmental and financial implications, particularly hindrance on power transmission routes, must be addressed by holding proper consultation with affected community and relevant stakeholders.
"The project has both social and environmental impacts, because of a long 500KV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system between Tajikistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan, which need to be addressed with proper assessment report regarding the local issues of the affected community," experts said.
"The proper mechanism should be evolved to address concerns of those people, who were directly affecting, and inform them about project benefits," they proposed. The consultative workshop was held under auspices of National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) at Wapda House on Monday. Ammar Khalid, Director Environment NTDC, Anjum Ahmad, Senior Energy Specialist from World Bank, Mohammad Tariq, Deputy Manager Environment of NTDC, Arif Khan, Executive Engineer from NTDC, Samina Islam, Socialist Specialist from World Bank were the main speakers at the workshop.
The Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are pursuing the development of electricity trading arrangements and the establishment of a Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM). Since, 2005 these four countries have intensified their internal co-operation with international financial institutions, including World Bank.
The main purpose of the CASA-1000 project was export of existing spare electricity energy 1300MW in Central Asian countries, (Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic) to South Asian countries, said Ammar Khalid, Director Environment NTDC while speaking at the workshop.
He said the construction of 477km/500-KV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line from Dakta in Kyrgyz Republic to Khojend in the North of Tajikistan and 750km/500 KV transmission line between Sagtuda in Southern part of Tajikistan to Peshawar in Pakistan via Kabul, Afghanistan.
The line route will traverse about 117km in Tajikistan, 562km across Afghanistan and finally 71km in Pakistan, he mentioned. He further explained the transmission line route in Pakistan follows the areas along the Torkhm-Jamrud Road, approximately 27 settlements are located near the corridor of impact (COI) in Khyber Agency of FATA and in the district boundary areas of Peshawar.
Khalid said Pakistan is being faced a huge shortfall of electricity resulting load shedding, expressed the hope that project would add around 1000MW, which could relieve the growing gap between supply and demand in the country. He informed that the project has been totally estimated $950 million.
Arif Khan, Executive Engineer said this would be first HVDC transmission, connecting four countries of CASAREM. Of the total 1300MW, he said around 1000MW would be added in national power distribution in Pakistan, while rest of 300MW will be shared with Afghanistan.