The Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) project will become financially viable if Pakistan is allowed to export surplus energy to the member countries, the planning minister of Islamabad said on Friday.
The CASA-1000 project envisaged energy trade along the transmission lines in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Minister for Planning, Development, and Reform Khusro Bakhtyar said “The project will become financially viable if there are two-way options… Pakistan has surplus energy in winter while Tajikistan has a surplus in summer.”.
The planning minister and the Ambassador of Tajikistan Ismatullo Nasreddin were having a talk, who called on him. In the meeting, there were also present member energy and senior officials of the ministry.
The $1.2 billion of CASA-1000 energy project was approved in March 2014 with the date of its completion expected in 2020. The project envisaged supply of 1,300 megawatts of electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: 300MW to Afghanistan and 1,000MW to Pakistan. Last month the World Bank sanctioned a $24 million in grant financing from the International Development Association for the project, while the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and US Agency for International Development pledged additional funding of two million for the CASA-1000 multi-donor trust fund.
Highlighting the importance of Torkhum-Dushanbe economic corridor, the planning minister said the proposed project would connect Torkhum to Dushanbe via Afghanistan.
He further claimed that “Pakistan is willing to go ahead with the initiative if there is a trilateral agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan,”.
“It (the project) has the potential to enhance regional connectivity and integration.”
Bakhtyar welcomed Tajikistan’s accession to a quadrilateral traffic-in-transit agreement (QTTA) among China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan. “This will greatly facilitate regional integration for economic development as it would provide an alternate transport corridor between our two countries,” he said. The planning minister hoped that the legal process for Tajikistan joining the QTTA will be completed soon.