Bank support to Afghanistan includes small hydro, transmission

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced a new strategic partnership with the government of Afghanistan that is to include investment in energy, transport, and irrigation sectors, including hydropower.

Approved by the ADB board March 5, the five-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) is aligned with the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and focuses on a limited number of priority sectors.

�The new CPS calls on ADB support for the provision of essential infrastructure including roads, power, and irrigation facilities,� ADB Country Director Craig Steffensen said.

ADB’s ongoing energy sector investments are to expand the power grid by rehabilitating substations and transmission lines, construct small to medium-sized hydropower plants, and improve power trading and interconnection with neighboring countries.

With ADB funding, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (Afghanistan Electricity Authority) took expressions of interest in January and February from consultants to assist utility operations, help implement transmission system improvements, and develop small hydropower projects. (HNN 1/26/09)

ADB approved a US$570 million energy sector investment program for Afghanistan in November, including funding for mini-hydropower projects in rural areas of two provinces.

With ADB backing, Afghanistan and Tajikistan took bids in early 2008 for transmission line work as part of a Central and South Asian grid system to export Tajikistan and Kyrgystan hydropower through Afghanistan to Pakistan. (HNN 2/5/08)

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