Afghanistan names Fichtner to study Kokcha project

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water has awarded a US$2.7 million contract to Fichtner GmbH &Co. KG of Germany to perform a feasibility study of the Kokcha irrigation and hydropower project on Kokcha River in Takhar Province.

Work is to include a pre-feasibility study of the technical, social, environmental, and economic viability of the project, followed by refinement of physical characteristics of design parameters for a recommended project suitable for final design and construction. The project is to be suitable for irrigation, power production, and for the social and environmental sector.

The government’s solicitation did not speak to size of the hydro project. However, the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provided a credit for irrigation rehabilitation, said dam construction began on the Kokcha River in 1980. It was halted when 60 percent complete due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. IDA said that project was to have been 10 to 20 MW. Another study, by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, said Afghan government priorities include studies for seven hydropower plants on the Kokcha totaling 1,900 MW.

Last year, Afghanistan awarded a US$3.4 million contract to Fichtner for a feasibility study of the 280-MW Baghdara project, proposed for Afghanistan’s Panjshir River.

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