For the first time in history, Pakistan to export electricity to two countries in the World
ISLAMABAD - For the first time in history, Pakistan to export electricity to two countries in the World.
A new proposal by Pakistani officials could bring much needed energy to people in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan during the frigid winters in a long-planned project that will also see Central Asian energy go to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A chain of hydropower plants strung across Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are a key part of the Central Asia-South Asia 1000 (CASA-1000) energy project that aims to bring some 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Afghanistan and 1,000 MW to Pakistan annually.
Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov *said on a visit link the 1,200 MW Toktogul hydropower plant (HPP) on October 18 that "the effective implementation of the CASA-1000 project will greatly increase the export potential of the country to states in South Asia."
Toktogul has been the *key domestic source of power link Kyrgyzstan for more than 40 years and, according to Jeenbekov, after its current modernization the HPP will continue to operate for at least another 40 years. [image: The Toktogul hydroelectric power station in Kyrgyzstan. (file photo)] The Toktogul hydroelectric power station in Kyrgyzstan. (file photo)
That is not only important for Kyrgyzstan but for the entire CASA-1000 project.
As the governments in Bishkek and Dushanbe have anxiously watched the project develop, they have been looking forward to reaping new revenues from the sale of power to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
But Pakistan has just asked for a change to that equation that would benefit the Tajik and Kyrgyz people during cold months but make CASA-1000 a bit less profitable for the state coffers of their countries.
Waseem Mukhtar, Pakistan's power division additional secretary, said in September that Islamabad wants CASA-1000 to be an "open access" power line, meaning that Pakistan could export its electricity as well as receive it from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
In comments published by Pakistan's The News on September 22, Mukhtar claimed Pakistan now has a surplus of electricity during some months and could supply Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with electricity during the winter when those two countries need it most.
At the same time, Islamabad would import the 1,000 MW annually that it agreed to take during the summer when its needs are greatest.
Looking at CASA-1000 as a regional power project, this announcement appears to be fantastic news.
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have done a lot in the last decade to improve their ability to generate and distribute power across their countries in the winter, Radio Free Europe has reported.