Australia firm to manage building Afghan grid link to Tajik hydro

Snowy Mountains Engineering Corp. (SMEC) has received contracts from Tajikistan and Afghanistan to manage the construction of transmission lines to carry Tajik hydropower to Afghanistan.

Transmission line work in Tajikistan and in Afghanistan is part of a Central and South Asian grid system to export Tajikistan and Kyrgystan hydropower through Afghanistan to Pakistan. (HNN 2/5/08) The two grid projects meet at a border river crossing at Karandum, Tajikistan, and Shekanbandar, Afghanistan.

SMEC is responsible for project management and implementation, particularly overseeing construction of 157 kilometers of new double-circuit transmission line from Sherkan Bandar to Pul-e-Khumri as well as construction of a new 220-kV switchyard at Kunduz and Baghlan.

SMEC received a separate contract from Tajikistan utility Barki Tajik to assist Tajikistan in pre-construction activities including assistance in tendering and awards, project implementation, and handover. (HNN 12/4/06)

Tajikistan has installed capacity of 4,405 MW that is 98 percent hydropower, SMEC said. Its surplus generation of 1,500 gigawatt-hours per year potentially is worth US$30 million annually.

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