CASA-1000 to help boost Pakistan’s economy: Tajikistan
The CASA-1000 project will not only accelerate economic growth in Tajikistan but also promote economies and industrial development of its neighbouring countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, according to Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in Pakistan, quoting Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Income from the export of electricity will support development of the economy of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as well as help reconstruction of their energy sectors by improving electricity shortages in winters. It will also help build close economic relations with neighbors Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will help Afghanistan demonstrate its viability as transit country linking two regions, the statement said.
After being disconnected from Central Asia Energy Grid, Tajikistan had no option but selling surplus summer electricity to the South Asian countries. Spilled water in summers from hydro plants of Tajikistan is wasted which could otherwise be used for generation of green energy for export to other countries of the Central and South Asia, particularly Pakistan and Afghanistan, the statement added.
Brushing aside any apprehensions about the project, the statement maintained a Canadian company SNC-Lavalin, which developed the project feasibility study, justifies the CASA-1000 project viability based on current and projected volume of water spilled from hydropower plants in Tajikistan during May-September. According to calculations, even in conservative prospect without taking into account the growth of energy generation until 2035, there will be sufficient volume of energy and water resources available to maintain the required amount of electricity generation needed for the CASA-1000 project, the statement said.In summers reservoir of Nurek dumb will always be filled until the end of seasonal period of energy supply of CASA-1000. Tajikistan government has taken necessary measures to address annual winter energy shortage (2-2.5 billion kWh) and strengthen the energy networks. The country attracted more than USD 2.2 billion of foreign and domestic investments during last couple of years for the purpose. In 2009, Tajikistan government launched Sangtuda-1 HPS, with capacity of 670 MW, and in 2012-2013 Sangtuda-2 was launched, with capacity of 220 MW. In addition to these, energy efficiency measures were presented for TALCO, which will help reduce demand during the winters and contribute to surplus energy for CASA-1000 in summers. The first unit of Dushanbe Thermal Power Plant-2 with total capacity of 200 megawatts (MW) will be launched in 2014, according to the statement.
The evaluation of the summer surplus electricity is based on hydrological data of the Vakhsh River since 1932. Tajikistan currently faces electricity shortage in winter only which is in no way related with the summer excesses that provides electricity for supply to CASA-1000 project from May to September.
The average annual flow in Vakhsh River from 1932 to 2009, for May-September did not witness significant changes. In addition, according to scientific reports water flow in Tajikistan is expected to increase by 2050, the statement said.
The Nurek reservoir siltation increases water surplus in summer in proportion to the volume of silt resulting in increase of the volume of water flowing to the passage of the reservoir. Its capacity reduction will affect only energy generation in winter seasons.
The reduction in normal maximum operating level of Nurek reservoir in accordance with the level of stability of 1.125 also leads to increase of summer surplus electricity in proportion to reduction of the useful volume of the reservoir.
The CASA feasibility studies estimate average growth of demand up to 2.4 percent, which is much higher than those of CAREC regional master plan study (1.1%). In fact, actual consumption of electricity during 2009-2014 decreased slightly due to introduction energy-saving technologies, the statement said.
Afghans said the possibility of construction of the second line over Salang pass has been endorsed by ‘Fitchner’ company. There are several alternative routes available that bypass Salang pass and the Tajikistan government will consider all available options and choose the most cost-effective route for the CASA-1000, the statement said.
The project also provides possibility of using its capacity for export of energy by other countries during non-summer periods in line with the Open Access provisions of the project. The project has been designed with constant electrically charged line to ensure the safety of the line.
The cost of the CASA-1000 project is verified through the recently realised projects in the region and has been found valid. The economic benefits of the project are valid even if the project costs escalate in future. The project agreement and prices are currently under negotiations, the statement concluded.
Resource (Daily Times)