Bank funds study of hydro-based Central-South Asia power market

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$3 million technical assistance grant to study the potential for regional electricity trading involving delivery of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan hydropower to markets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The four nations are working to form a Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market calling for export, initially, of 1,000 MW of hydropower from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan via Afghanistan to Pakistan. (HNN 1/15/07) The ADB-funded feasibility study would help prepare the power trading project, which is to spur hydropower and transmission line renovation and development.

The study is to examine feasibility and viability of the proposed project, including assessment of power availability and demand in the countries, possible transmission routes, economic and financial costs, and environmental and social safeguard assessments.

ADB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Islamic Development Bank, and World Bank, plus bilateral and private sector stakeholders, have been assisting a Multi-Country Working Group to consider the project.

�The Multi-Country Working Group has taken important steps toward regional cooperation in power trade,� ADB Senior Investment Specialist F.C. Kawawaki said. �ADB is pleased to contribute through this study to support their efforts to progress to the next stage in project development.�

Although there is some grid interconnection between Afghanistan and Central Asia, Kawawaki said there is considerable opportunity for expansion of regional cooperation in the power sector.

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